The Benue State government has faulted comments of the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong over the recent attacks in Benue State which left at least 73 people dead. Lalong had told journalists in Abuja on Thursday, that he warned Gov. Samuel Ortom against implementing the Open Grazing Prohibition Law.
Lalong said, “To be honest with you, I advised him. I told the governor of Benue State when he was doing the law; I said ‘look, why don’t you tread softly, just be careful, take other steps before you start implementation.’
Governor Ortom reacted to this statement while receiving a delegation of the regional socio-cultural group led by a retired Major General, John Shegaya in his office. He said he is disappointed with the comments of his fellow governor.
“I have forgiven him because at no time did my colleague warn me about this law. Even if he had warned me, it was beyond me, it is about Benue State, and I am not talking about Plateau State
“He doesn’t know about Benue State; that is what the Benue people want
“Is there one person in Benue State that is against this law?
“It originated from the people themselves. Even if he had warned me, I would have told him it was beyond me
“When I heard…I tried to call him, but he did not pick my call.
“I wanted to remind him when I finally confirmed that he said he said so, that the last time I went to Jos for a thanksgiving service in one of the churches, on my way back, I felt like paying homage to him and I did. And he told me that he was under pressure to also enact the same law.”
In a more recent development, Lalong’s media team had issued a statement to clarify the governor’s comments.
The statement which was signed by Mr Emmanuel Nanle, Director of Press to the Governor said that the governor will always show solidarity with his Benue counterpart.
“The governor has expressed his deepest sympathy in a phone conversation with Governor Ortom.
“He gave assurances of the prayers of the people of Plateau for God’s comfort to the bereaved families, and for the repose of the souls of all those killed in the wake of the attack,” it said.