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Jang berates Lalong over anti-Benue comment.

Irked by a statement credited to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State that he warned his Benue State counterpart, Governor Samuel Ortom, against the implementation of bill on prohibition of open grazing and support for cattle colonies, a former governor of the state, Jonah Jang has berated Lalong.

Lalong, during an interview with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, was reported to have said that he had advised his Benue State counterpart against implementing the anti-open grazing law.

Reacting to the statement, a former governor of the state who is now the senator representing Plateau North, Jonah Jang, said Governor Ortom deserved condolences from Governor Lalong over the recent mass killings in Benue State and not the comment attributed to him.

Jang said the only thing Lalong could do at the moment was to tender 'an unreserved apology' to the government and people of Benue State for that unnecessary and unsavory comment which, he said, could, at best, be described as an insult.

'On the Plateau, countless numbers of people have been murdered in the last couple of months in Bassa, Riyom, Jol, etc. One wonders, therefore, where the governor resides that he speaks so much about peace in the state.

'The much-talked about peace of the governor, as we know, has been on the altar of acceptance of the policies that will naturally dispossess the people of their ancestral lands and pitch a section of the populace against another.

'Plateau people, especially of the northern zone which I, Senator Jonah Jang, represent, say no to grazing reserves and will not accept the confiscation of their ancestral land for the purpose of creating reserves, colonies or whatever they may be called,' he said.

I was quoted out of context -Lalong

Governor Lalong, however, dismissed the publication and in a statement signed by his Director, Press and Public Affairs, Emmanuel Nanle, said it was sad that his expression, which bordered on the situation in Plateau State, was taken out of context.

He said he was waiting for the provision of the ranching alternative ahead of the total ban on open grazing in the state, adding that his response on peer review of policies with his counterparts from neighbouring states was responded to in the affirmative.

Lalong berated those he said had taken to the social media to make negative statements and draw political capital out of the unfortunate situation in Benue, while the pains in the grieving hearts of the victims were still fresh.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Jan 13, 2018
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