Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has lamented over the rise in arms proliferation in the country noting that both herders and farmers now carry AK-47 in self-defence.
He said the alarming trend can be curtailed if the Federal Government introduces the modern form of livestock production which is in the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
“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,” he said.
Lalong, who is also the Chairman of the Northern Governor’s Forum blamed the trend of carrying weapons in self-defence on open grazing which allows free movement of herders.
He also stressed that he does not support the bearing of arms by either farmers or herders.
“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.
“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, but even the farmers were also 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,” the governor said.