The association of farmers in Nigeria says they are shocked by the comments recently made by Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong who said both herders and farmers carry AK-47.
The Benue State chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesdays said they the governor is wrong and that they do not carry AK-47 like herdsmen.
Governor Lalong had earlier on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television Breakfast programme Sunrise Daily lamented over the rise in arms proliferation in the country noting that both herders and farmers now carry AK-47 in self-defence.
“We watched with shock, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong on Channels Television where he accused farmers of carrying AK-47 riffles like Fulani herdsmen.
“All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Benue State Chapter finds Governor Lalong’s accusation grossly unacceptable, and we hereby reject it in its entirety.
“We consider the Plateau State Governor’s utterances as an insult to farmers of Benue State in particular and Nigerian farmers in general whose efforts in feeding the nation are being frustrated by atrocities of armed herdsmen,” the farmers’ association said in reaction to Lalong.
The farmers stressed that they are law-abiding citizens and do not take the law into their hands.
“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.”
The farmers in the statement which was jointly signed by its State Chairman, Aondongu Saaku, and PRO Anthony Onu Ogbole commended the efforts of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom in the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law and numerous other measures he is taking to guarantee peace and security in the state.