Killer Fulani Herdsmen: I Was Misquoted, I Stand With Benue People In Grief – Lalong

JOS (Sundiata Post) – Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong has expressed serious displeasure at the manner in which reports making the rounds on social and online media (not Sundiata Post) and some broadcast stations, concerning the interview he granted to journalists after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso villa, Abuja of Thursday.

The governor, in his clarification on the statement credited to him, in which he was quoted as having said he warned Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State not to implement the anti-open grazing law, entitled ‘LET NIGERIANS NOT SPIT ON THE GRAVE OF THE VICTIMS’ said it is sad that his expression which bothered on the Plateau State situation, in which he said he was waiting for the provision of the ranching alternative ahead of the total ban on open grazing in the State, was taken out of context.
He said he was completely misquoted when his response on peer review of policies with his counterparts from the neighbouring state was responded to in the affirmative.

In a statement made available to Sundiata Post Thursday evening, Lalong’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Samuel Emmanuel Nanle, quoted the governor as berating those who have taken to the social media to make negative statements and draw political capital out of the unfortunate situation in Benue State, while the pains in the grieving hearts of the victims where still fresh.
The governor added that those whose unrestrained and uncensored penchant for quick shares of negative news, has become an attitude of their new age media engagements, should know that to make a mockery of the pains of the people of Benue State by spitting and dancing on the graves of those killed in cold blood would draw the wrath of God.

According to the statement, the governor in show of solidarity and shared grief with the people of Benue State and indeed all Nigerians of conscience committed to finding a lasting solution to the herders and farmers conflict in Nigeria, expressed his deepest sympathy in a phone conversation with Governor Ortom.
He gave assurances of the prayers of the people of Plateau State 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.
The Plateau State governor assured the people of Plateau State and indeed all Nigerians, that dialogue around all the options for peaceful coexistence amongst all citizens, remain the best solution to any situation that is a threat to peace in the country.
He advised all to explore the benefits in the ranching and cattle colonies proposed by the Federal Government as an alternative to open grazing, which will certainly be banned as part of the solution to the incessant farmers and herdsmen conflict all around the country.