Communal Crisis: Reps Caution Public Office Holders Against Inflammatory Comments
NEWSMAN, Abuja – House of Representatives has cautioned public officials against making statements capable of provoking aggressive reactions from the public.
This was the resolution after a motion raised by a member of the House, Dachung Bagos, which was directed at the governor of Bauchi state, Bala Mohammed on his statement, justifying why herdsmen should carry AK47s.
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed had on February 12 said Fulani herders have no option but to carry AK-47 for self-defence because they are being attacked and killed by cattle rustlers.
“The Fulani man is practicing the tradition of trans-human, pastoralism, he has been exposed to the battery of the forests, the animals, and now, the cattle rustlers, who carry guns, kill him and take away his commonwealth – that is his cows – he had no option than to carry Ak-47 because the society and the government are not protecting him.
“It is not his fault, it is the fault of the government and the people; you don’t criminalise all of them because in every tribe there are criminals. You should be very sensitive. We have to be careful,” Governor Mohammed had said.
But Hon. Bagos insists that his statement is dangerous and could lead to the belief that government supports the bearing of firearms, even though the constitution does not permit citizens to illegally bear arms.
He fears that the statement could cause unrest among farmers and other innocent Nigerians who may be forced to resort to bearing arms as well.
He further asks governors to work on solutions instead of escalating the tension in the country.
Reacting to the violence in Shasha and across the country, speaker of the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila is urged all those who have large followership of people who listen to them and respect their voices, to be more circumspect about the information they share, the language they use, and the conversations they enable.
According to him, words can have outsize consequences on the nation’s peace and stability because words have the power to build and also to destroy, Channels Reported.
He reminded political leaders of the greater responsibility before them to keep the peace in the country.
He charged them to first commit to the cause of equal justice and fair treatment for all.