The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State has condemned Governor Simon Lalong over the comments he made deploring Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State for passing anti-grazing law.
Opposition to the anti-grazing law is believed to be responsible for the attack on Benue State communities, leaving no fewer than 73 dead and many critically wounded.
At a time when the victims of the attack by suspected herdsmen were being buried and the nation was in gloom, Lalong who spoke in Abuja blamed Ortom for signing the anti-grazing law.
But in reaction to the position of the governor, the PDP in Plateau State said the governor was not speaking for the people of the state.
The party said Lalong’s display of lack of sympathy for the victims of the Benue attack was condemnable.
The condemnation by the PDP is contained in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Sir J T Akans.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to the shameful and disastrous outing of our dear Governor Barrister Simon Bako Lalong at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday 11, January 2018.
“While at the Villa, Governor Lalong, in an attempt to impress his boss and host, exhibited unstatemanly characteristics. First of all, he described the mindless killing of innocent people in their homes as “clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers” rather than roundly condemning the killers.
“Secondly, to impress his “oga at the top” and State House press, he said he restored peace in the state within three months of his coming to office, dismissing the recent killings that took place in the last three months in Barkin Ladi, Ryom and Bassa local government areas.
“Thirdly, rather than proceed to Benue State on his return from vacation abroad to commiserate with our brothers and sisters following the massacre of innocent lives and the rendering of thousands homeless, he chose to embark on a misadventure of trying to woo Mr. President to visit Plateau State and thereafter endorse his second term bid… He chose to berate Governor Samuel Ortom on a day when those killed by Fulani herdsmen were being given a mass burial, bragging that he advised him “not to implement the anti open-grazing law and look the other way round” regarding the enactment and implementation of the anti-open grazing law. He further bragged that he did not introduce anti people law in his state.”
The party also denied the governor’s claim that Plateau people had embraced the ranching policy of the federal government.
According to the party, “it is unfortunate that our Lalong chose to exhibit a deep sense of ill will towards a colleague and brother by choosing to berate him in public, even as they claim to be of the same political party and agenda…
“As we conclude we wish to state emphatically that Governor Lalong’s statement is not a reflection of the feelings of Plateau people, even as we commiserate with our beloved brothers and sisters in Benue over the mindless killings and losses.”