– Benue state farmers have denied carrying AK-47 like criminal herders
– In a statement on Wednesday, the farmers said they are law-abiding citizens
– Plateau governor, Simon Lalong, had alleged that farmers also bear firearms for self-defence
The Benue state chapter of the Association of Nigerian Farmers (ANF) has expressed utter disgust on a statement credited to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state where he was quoted to have said both farmers and herders carry AK-47 for protection.
Reacting on Wednesday, February 24, the association described Lalong’s statement as unfortunate and a spurious lie flying in the face of facts.
The response to Lalong’s comment was made in a statement by the Benue state farmers’ chairman, Aondongu Saaku, and spokesperson, Anthony Onu Ogbole, Channels TV reports.
Governor Lalong had alleged that contrary to popular opinion farmers now carry weapons as a means of self-defence.
The Plateau governor made this disclosure while addressing the issue of farmer-herder and security crisis on Channels TV programme.
But in a swift reaction, the Benue farmers said they are law-abiding and will never engage in illegal possession of firearms for whatever reason.
“Benue farmers are peaceful and law-abiding. We do not take the law into our hands despite the many unprovoked attacks on our members who are killed in their hundreds and their only source of livelihood destroyed by armed herdsmen.”
In a statement on Sunday, February 14, Muktar Gidado, a senior special assistant on media, said the comment of the principal was misunderstood.
“The governor would want it placed on record that his statement was intended to caution all stakeholders to guard against escalating the tension, just as many patriotic stakeholders, particularly from the north, have been working round the clock to avert reprisal actions that could throw the entire country into a cauldron of unimaginable proportions.”
Rahaman Abiola is a result-oriented journalist and content writer with a firm grip of over 5-year corporate experience stranding diverse roles in digital & traditional media and social media communication.
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