But the speaker told KR that the protesters were armed. He said, ” as a house, we are respecter of the rights of people to peacefully protest because this is a democracy. What shocked me was seeing the crowd with sticks and matchetes as if they are going for a fight. It means it is no longer a peaceful affair.
“I Was Shocked to See Fulani Protesters with Heavy Weapons” – Taraba Speaker
Speaker of the Taraba state House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Abel Peter Diah, has told KWARARAFA REPORTERS that he was shocked to see fulani protesters with weapons. The protesters had demonstrated in Jalingo Monday, flailing the anti open grazing bill presently being considered at the House of Assembly. Leaders of the protest said it was a peaceful one.
That is the first quarrel I have with the protest. The other issue is the view that this bill is anti Fulani. That’s erroneous. There is nowhere in the bill where the word “Fulani” is even mentioned. It is about grazers. I’m a grazer an own ranches. So I’m also affected by the issues raised by the bill. To reduce it to a single ethnic group doesn’t do service to it.”
The speaker noted further that the bill would be openly discussed at centers in the three geopolitical zones of the state. He said, ‘Instead of playing to the gallery, why not try and defeat the bill at the public hearings? You can’t defeat a bill through a violent protest inspired by opposition politicians.”