The House of Representatives has shut down a motion asking the Federal Government to declare Bauchi State as an oil-producing state.
The motion was sponsored by Yakubu Abdullahi.
But when put to vote, a greater number of lawmakers voted against the motion.
There are currently a total of eight oil-producing states who receive a 13% derivation fund from the Federal Government.
The derivation fund is paid to the states monthly to assist their oil-producing communities in tackling environmental pollution and degradation, provision of basic amenities like healthcare, potable water and paved roads, and economic empowerment of the community people.
Meanwhile, earlier, the House of Representatives had stepped down the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill after an hour-long closed-door session.
Lawmakers from the South-South had opposed the harmonised PIB allocation to host communities which was pegged at three per cent.
The Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, has appealed to all arms-bearing herders to drop their weapons, particularly the AK-47 as the country continues to grapple with various security challenges.
The governor made the appeal on Wednesday, during the official launch of the 2021 Annual Livestock Vaccination Campaign at Galambi cattle ranch in the state.
Speaking further, he assured all innocent farmers, herders and people of the state that their wellbeing will remain a priority of his government while efforts are being made to reduce the farmer-herder clashes.
“I will do everything to protect you and support you because through time and history, you seem to have been lampooned, subjected to caricature, but you remain humane, simple, you don’t show so much aggression and of course, that humility, is always what we recognize,” Governor Mohammed said.
“Please don’t carry the AK-47; try to make sure that you remain peaceful”.
He also promised to continue to be a voice for the innocent Fulani herdsmen while advising them to conduct themselves peacefully and identify the miscreants among them for punitive measures.
Meanwhile, Governor Mohammed said he has no apology for speaking up against ethnic profiling of Fulani Herdsmen.
He, however, assured Nigerians that his previous comments were not intended to generate controversies and escalate tension.
Weeks ago, the governor had defended the herdmen who carry arms, stating that they only do so as a means of 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.
Last Friday, he however, clarified the statement, explaining that he only used ‘AK-47’ as a figure of speech.
“It is a figure of speech to show you the despondence, the desperation and frustration and the agony that this particular person is exposed to by his own people, by his own tribe and by other tribes who have all seen him as a criminal and therefore, he has the inalienable right to protect himself,” the governor said in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“What I said in that context, I was addressing the media people. And the topic was the use of the media to foster national unity and I was trying to situate the problem,” the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) explained.
“The Fulani man is so exposed, dehumanised, demonised in fact, because he is being seen as a bandit and so, anywhere he goes, he is being pursued. Not only in the southwest or the southeast, even in the north because he is in the cattle route, his commonwealth which I call his cows, are being taken and rustled and of course, sometimes, they are fined beyond your imagination.
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday accused his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, of being a terrorist based on his utterances supporting herdsmen from carrying AK-47 to defend themselves.
Governor Ortom who made this accusation while addressing journalists in Makurdi, Benue State capital said Governor Mohammed must be a terrorist for supporting illegal arms wielding by foreign herdsmen.
“I wouldn’t want to be joining issues with my brother, friend, and colleague Bauchi Governor. But since he has continued to vilify, intimidate and blackmail me. It is said that silence is consent. I am compelled to respond to him.
“I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country.
“Why do I say this? This is the same governor who took the oath of office to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers.
“This is a man who says that a Fulani man is a global man and can come in from anywhere and enter Nigeria. It is quite disappointing to hear a governor who took the oath of office …maybe he should go back and check the oath of office he took to check maybe the constitution gives room for foreign terrorist Fulani herdsmen to come into Nigeria,” Ortom said.
He also reacted to Governor Mohammed’s statement which says herders can carry AK-47 to defend themselves noting that “his recent outburst that Fulani herdsmen are justified for carrying AK-47 to protect themselves. I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows that.”
The Benue Governor there called on Governor Mohammed to render an unreserved apology and learn from the provisions of the constitution that, land both territorial, forest, and aquatic, are vested on the governor of a state who holds them in trust, instead of indulging in inciting Fulani herdsmen against innocent Nigerians.
AK-47 A Figure Of Speech?
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State last week Friday defended his comment about armed herders, explaining that he used AK-47 as a figure of speech for protection.
“It is a figure of speech to show you the despondence, the desperation and frustration and the agony that this particular person is exposed to by his own people, by his own tribe and by other tribes who have all seen him as a criminal and therefore, he has the inalienable right to protect himself,” the governor said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
A Flurry Of Condemnation
Governor Bala Mohammed’s comment on armed herdsmen had earlier triggered a wave of condemnation from his counterparts and Nigerians alike, increasing calls for the prohibition of open-grazing.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and his Ondo counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, were quick to knock the Bauchi governor’s statement. Akeredolu had described it as uncalled for, arguing that it could further escalate tensions in the West African nation.
“For what purpose? Bala Mohammed has even poured more petrol into the fire because his speech is unexpected of him. It will become very serious and nobody will be spared,” Akeredolu, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), noted.
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has described as disappointing, the comments made by his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed who blamed him for what he termed ‘negative perception of Fulani herders’ when he spoke on the current security situation in the country.
Governor Ortom in a statement issued on Friday by his spokesman, Terver Akase, said while he will not want to join issues with his counterpart, he finds it shocking that a colleague who took the oath of office as he also did, to protect and preserve the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, now takes the lead in violating provisions of the same constitution by calling for lawlessness.
According to Ortom, the most shocking part of Governor Bala Mohammed’s statement was where he defended herdsmen for bearing arms saying “they have no option than to carry AK47 because the society and the government are not protecting them”.
The Benue governor questioned the section of the law the Bauchi governor cited to support herdsmen’s free movement around the country with sophisticated weapons.
“It was the same Governor Mohammed who once said on national television that a Fulani man is a global citizen and therefore does not need a visa to come to Nigeria and that the forests belong to herdsmen,” Ortom stated as he poked at Bala Mohammed’s political ideology.
Governor Ortom questioned if Mr Mohammed had a good knowledge of the horrendous activities of herders in parts of the country, arguing that if the Bauchi governor had the facts then he would not continue to put up emotional defences and justification in favour of the armed herdsmen.
In reference to Governor Bala Mohammed’s comment that there are Benue people who are freely doing business in Bauchi and elsewhere, Ortom stated that Benue indigenes in Bauchi have been law-abiding and do not carry arms to attack their hosts, noting that Fulani, as well as many other Nigerians residing in Benue who respect laws of the land, also live peacefully with their hosts.
Ortom insisted that his administration has not driven away any law-abiding Nigerian in Benue State.
According to the governor, it is unfortunate that those who are trusted with the people’s mandate and should ordinarily uphold truth and justice have chosen to mislead the country.
He stressed the need for leaders to be cautious and retrace their steps which are capable of leading the country to anarchy.
Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammmed has ordered residents of the state not to engage in trading or social activity with anyone outside the state.
Mohammmed gave this directive on Tuesday during a meeting with the local government leaders in the state.
He said the rate of COVID-19 prevalence in neighbouring states calls for concern hence the need for the local government leaders to sensitise people at the grassroot to desist from any form of activities with anyone outside the state.
“We are worried because people are still infiltrating. We heard that Jigawa had 46 in a day and Kano State has become another place where we are highly concerned. We commiserate with the people of Kano over the deaths.
“We have told our local governments chairmen that no trader, no visitor or any social activities should be conducted with anybody outside Bauchi,” the governor said.
He also tasked the local government caretaker committee chairmen to rise up to the challenge of securing their areas and protecting residents through sensitisation.
He went further to set up local government committees for sensitisation and surveillance in their respective communities urging them to commence mass production of facemasks.
“The committes set up must work and they must go out and manufacture masks en mass so that those living in the local government can benefit.
“Our state will remain partially locked, irrespective of what is happening anywhere,” he added.
Mohammed while speaking concerning expiration of the caretaker chairmen tenure notes that their reign will be extended since an election cannot hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 500 suspected thugs popularly known as Sara-Suka have renounced all forms of criminality in Bauchi state.
The Police Commissioner in the state, Habu Sani, who received them at the Command headquarters, said that a large number of arms and ammunition and other dangerous weapons were recovered from them.
He explained that the Police adopted a carrot approach to woo members and mandated them to sign an undertaking to stop all forms of civil disturbances.
“We are here to formally receive over 500 repentant Sara Suka youths who met the conditions set by the command.
“The door is still open to those who are yet to repent, to see reasons why they should tow the same line as the command will not rest its oars to sustain the fight against crime and criminality in Bauchi state.”
Meanwhile, Governor Bala Mohammed who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Abubakar Kari, stated that the Government will integrate the youths into the society and engage them with their preferred skills for employment.
“We will collect the data from the police, we have our own data, but we will harmonise and differentiate what sector each of them is trying to move into; some are carpenters, welders, plumbers, and many other things.”