Sequel to the statement credited to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, at the State House in Abuja Thursday, where he was quoted to have said he advised the Benue State governor not to implement the anti grazing bill, Lalong has said the media should not misquote the intent of his statement, as Benue Plateau remain unquestionable ally.
In a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the governor, Emmanuel Nanle and made available to newsmen, Lalong said he is disappointed at the manner in which reports making the rounds on social media and some broadcast stations, concerning the interview he granted to members of the Press, after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso villa Abuja.
The statement reads in part, “it is sad that my expression which bothered on the plateau situation, in which I said I 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 and completely misquoted when my response on peer review of policies with my counterparts from neighbouring state was responded to in the affirmative”.
Lalong berated those who have 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.
Similarly, a group under the aegis of Plateau Regeneration group (PRG), has condoled with the people of Benue over the unfortunate incident that led to the wanton lost of lives
Speaking through its Public Relations Officer, Mr Choi Bandung Chuhwak, said: “We wish to use this opportunity to clear the air on our Governor’s interview with the State House Correspondents in Abuja where he was quoted out of context.
“Our findings revealed that what Gov Lalong actually meant was that implementing a policy like ban on open grazing without alternative measures would be counter- productive”, he said.
However, the Plateau Peace Building Agency (PPBA) has expressed its deepest condolences to the government and people of Benue State over the unfortunate series of attacks that took place in the wake of the New Year.
The Director General of the Agency, Mr Joseph Lengmang, in a statement made available to our correspondent said, the Plateau people are particularly saddened by the unnecessary loss of human lives and properties.
His words, “we do understand more than anyone else the pains and hurts that the people of Benue are subjected to: we understand because we have been there before and the risks we face are still as stark as ever, yet, we must not lose hope and faith in the promise of a better tomorrow: our destiny as a people offers not a cup of despair, but of multiple streams of opportunities and blessings.
“These ugly incidents should not serve as a motivation for vengeance or incentive for hatred; on the contrary, let the memories of the loved and lost inspire deep ratiocination in our minds such that never again will evil prevail as it has for all those who lost their lives to brutal attacks on the eve of 2018.
“As an agency of government saddled with the responsibility of promoting the culture of peaceful and harmonious coexistence through advocacy, research, multi-stakeholder dialogue and partnerships, we fully appreciate the magnitude of the existential threat facing our people in Plateau state, Middle Belt and across the country: we submit that we can only triumph over this evil when we are united over a common purpose and also strategic in our thinking as opposed to being merely reactionary”, Lengmang said.
Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos