Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong says farmers now carry AK-47 rifles along with Fulani herdsmen for protection.
Lalong, who is also the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, called for full implementation of the national livestock transformation plan as the solution to the frequent clashes between host farmers and nomadic cattle rearers.
“Today, we are now seeing the hazard of allowing people do open grazing here and there. But they (herders) also want solution; by the time you explain to them, they also want to stay in one place, they would also want to keep away from carrying AK-47,” he said on Tuesday on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“I’m not justifying anybody to carry AK-47 but don’t forget that in the course of our deliberations and investigations, it was not only Fulani herdsmen that were carrying AK-47, even farmers were carrying AK-47.
“It is just proliferation of arms in respect to guarding themselves. Everybody is trying to protect himself, we shouldn’t allow self-help.
“At the time there were farmers-herdsmen clashes here (in Plateau), we arrested people, farmers also had AK-47 and the herdsmen were also holding AK-47 too. But if you want all of them not to hold AK-47 again, you must put deliberate efforts to curtail the influx of light arms and secondly find ways to take these people away from the old type of farming and then introduce them to the modern system.”