The immediate past chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), Hon Kenneth Gbandi, has called on the body to withdraw the award it once conferred on the current governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Bala Mohammed, if he does not deny a recent statement credited to him on security in Nigeria.
Mohammed had last week said that herdsmen were justified to carry assault rifles to protect themselves against cattle rustlers.
“If Governor Bala Mohammed does not deny the statement credited to him justifying the carrying of assault rifles by herdsmen, the Nigerian Diaspora Leadership Award, conferred on him in 2015 by NIDOE, should be withdrawn,” Gbandi said in the statement.
“Such a statement, if true, is an open call for anarchy and whoever makes it is not deserving of any honour issued by NIDOE,” he added.
“It is unacceptable that an elected public official could be openly advocating for an arms conflict which his comments amount to.”
Governor Mohammed has also been harshly criticised in Nigeria for the controversial comments which could justify citizens resorting to self defence and is capable of pushing Nigeria to anarchy.
Gbandi, who is a Deputy National Chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), wonders if the governor was aware of the atrocities being committed by the herdsmen, who go about with AK-47 rifles, and have been blamed for serious crimes, such as rape, kidnapping and murders, including massacres, in different parts of the country.
“The majority of diaspora Nigerians are calling on Governor Mohammed to immediately withdraw his statement, or we will have no choice than to withdraw his award,” Gbandi, who is also a Hamburg-based international media entrepreneur, said.
“We will follow this by notifying all relevant International Organisations about the threat which his position poses to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, and by extension to the whole of the sub-region.”