Nigerians don’t need permission to live in Ondo forests – Bauchi gov

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, on Friday said   Nigerians don’t need the permission of any governor to reside anywhere in the country.

Mohammed, who made this known on Friday on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’, said citizens don’t need the permission of his Ondo State counterpart, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, to live in the forests in the South-West state.

“Land is in the hands of the state and federal governments in trust but Nigerians don’t need the permission of governors or the federal government to settle everywhere. You don’t need the permission of the governor of Bauchi or the governor of Ondo to be in the forests of Ondo if you choose to live in the forests because under Section 41 of the constitution, you are free to settle anywhere,” Mohammed said.

Akeredolu had ordered all herdsmen to vacate the state forest reserves or register with the state government.

The order which was made as an attempt to sanitise Ondo forests of killer herdsmen accused of sundry crimes such as kidnappings, killings, rape, amongst others, generated outrage with the Presidency and some governors including Mohammed saying Akeredolu lacked the right to issue a vacation notice to herders in the state.

Akeredolu had also slammed Mohammed for saying herders have the right to bear AK-47 rifle for self-protection.

But the Bauchi State governor in his defence said that “when we mention AK-47, it is a figure of speech, the issue is protection, self-help, you must protect yourself”.

 “The Fulani man is so exposed, dehumanised and demonised. He is being seen as a bandit and so anywhere he goes, his commonwealth which I call his cows are being taken and rustled and sometimes they are fined beyond your imagination and then he has no option than to protect himself,” the governor added.

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