Home Top Stories Jang behind grazing reserve protest in Plateau – Lalong

Jang behind grazing reserve protest in Plateau – Lalong


ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Plateau State Governor, Mr. Solomon Lalong, has alleged that his immediate predecessor, Jonah Jang, was behind the recent protest in the state over the introduction of cattle ranches as a way of ending the incessant farmers and herdsmen’s clashes.

The governor, who was at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari‎ on Friday, told State House correspondents that the anti-grazing reserves protests were wasted efforts as the relevant stakeholders had already agreed on ‎the establishment of cattle ranches in the state.

According to Lalong, the ranches would be funded by the state and federal governments while it would be open to everyone who intends to rear cattle and not just for Fulanis alone.

He said,  “Well that protest is just by a few ethnic groups. We have done a lot of consultations from traditional rulers to religious leaders to youth organisations they all accepted that we should adopt ranching in Plateau State. What they are protesting is grazing reserve but we are not talking about grazing reserves. What we are talking about is ranches. So those who attended the workshop knew what was done.

“This is the Presidency, let me say it and I am going to publish it, the man who introduced and is causing that confusion is Jonah Jang who incidentally was the one who introduced grazing reserves on the Plateau with a gazette in 2009 that is the gazette I am going to publish.

“If you said if we have to bring peace in Plateau State you have to introduce grazing reserves and grazing routes, why is he turning round again and instigating people against what is being done, and trying to give an impression that it is the President that is introducing it?

“It is not the President, it is an option to every state to key into the concept of grazing ranch”, he said.

According to him, he has already set up a 14-man committee on ranches, which traditional rulers, religious leaders and the youth organisations have already endorsed.

Lalong said, “So whatever you see in my state now is just pocket of crisis or protest and not part of what the state has done, you will see the records, we have concluded our consultations and the state accepted that we should proceed with ranches which is very economical and that would also help in curbing the insecurity that we have in our state.

“They have taken it as an opposition kind of thing that this is an APC project, PDP must foil it. That is what is happening in my state because those who are championing it are PDP.”

On why he met with Buhari, the governor said, it was to thank the President for approving N5 billion balance of financial bailout due to Plateau State.

He said that the bailout fund was helping to offset the backlog of civil servants salaries in the state, assuring that he was putting measures in place to jack up the state’s internally generated revenue.

Lalong said, “That is part of why I came to thank the President for approving the balance of bail out of N5 billion for Plateau state. I kept on drumming it politicians were saying no we do not have any money outstanding.

“Mr. President approved the money on the eve of his departure to London. I got an approval for the balance of N5 billion for Plateau State which has been drawn for the payment of their balance of arrears, what we have is balance of arrears on the Plateau.

“I have paid and we have about three months between yesterday and today, the workers are already being paid. So after salary for a Plateau man, he is no longer annoyed of anything, he would allow government to run unhindered. So that was what they were trying to use during the grazing reserve protest because people were hungry as a result of lack of salaries.

“They first drummed the issue of salaries, that we will not be able to pay the arrears of salaries but today we have the monies and we are paying; then they came up with the issue of reserves.”

Lalong also blamed the crisis in the State House of Assembly over local government council polls on greedy politicians who prefer a renewal of tenure of caretaker committees.

According to him, his administration will not go back on conduct of the local government polls.

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