GOV. SIMON BAKO LALONG’S DESCENT INTO INFAMY AND THE NEED TO APOLOGISE TO THE BENUE PEOPLE
It is becoming increasingly difficult to understand why a man who
accidentally stumbled on power will continue on the path of infamy at the
detriment of the very people who he swore an oath to protect.
At a time when the mood of the nation, nay, the states that have
continued to suffer decapitation at the hands of marauding killer
herdsmen should be sober, it is unfortunate that some one of Governor
Lalong’s standing will utter words that will be an insult on the sensitivity
of the people, especially of Benue State.
This is unfortunate not only coming from the Governor but on a day
when the Government and people of Benue State held a mass burial for
Hapless women and children who were murdered on the first day of the
Year, ordinarily a day of jubilation.
While the people of Benue were at the funeral of their lost brethren,
Lalong, in his usual manner was playing to the gallery in Abuja with a
view to scurrying cheap political points and portray himself as an insider
of the Buhari administration.
At times when, one lacks what to say or would say what is irrelevant,
especially in calming frayed nerves, silence become golden. When
people who trot around as leaders cannot conduct themselves in that
manner, it is only a pointer to the fact that they were never prepared at
all for leadership. Thankfully, the days and months ahead leads us to
another electioneering period and with the wisdom Nigerians now have,
having suffered all kinds of hardship including escalating insecurity
occasioned by herdsmen, it is only a matter of time before the
right people will be put in the right places of authority.
It is unfortunate that Plateau State which has suffered the brunt of the
killer herdsmen in the modern-day Nigeria, was left out of a
meeting to discuss an issue as important as finding lasting solutions to
the farmer/herdsmen clashes a prominent feature in the North Central
geopolitical zone. When Governors of state s such as Kaduna, Niger,
Nasarawa, Taraba and Benue were invited and participated at that
meeting, Plateau which should be chief on the list was conspicuously
Alas! The Governor of Plateau State was not even in the country and on
return one would have expected loud protest by the Governor but he
was in Abuja, perhaps discussing a role in the 2019 re-election project.
That Governor Lalong had the temerity to insinuate that the Governor of
Benue State Governor is responsible for the massacre of his people by
implementing a people-oriented law to safeguard his people, is the
height of wickedness. If anything, the Governor of Benue State deserves
the condolences from Governor Lalong and not those comment attributed to him.
For this reason, the only assuaging thing for Gov. Lalong to do at the
moment is to tender an unreserved apology to the Government and
people of Benue State for those unnecessary and unsavory comments,
which at best could be described as an insult.
Governance is not for the lilly livered and if people like Gov. Ortom has
decided to work in the best interest of his people, those who cannot
should look from a distance without trying to tarnish the image of those
determined to protect those who elected them.
Today’s men of power must recognise that power is transient and that
posterity which judge them for their actions or inactions. Generations yet
unborn will hear of how people looked the other way as their kinsmen
were massacred while they pandered to the powers that be in pursuit of
On the Plateau, countless number 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 and
has been on the altar of acceptance of the policies that will naturally dispossess the people of the ancestral lands and increase pitch a section of the populace the people against one another.
Plateau people, especially of the Northern zone which Senator Jonah
Jang represents 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.
Gov. Lalong speaks for himself, as far as the people of Plateau North
Senatorial zone are concerned. We have already suffered too much loss
in the hands of the killer herdsmen to allow an entrenchment of their
feudalistic and genocidal tendencies. If the Governor claims to have
people already donating lands for the purpose of grazing reserves or
cattle colonies, I wonder who these people are and brings home ant
infested wood and refuses to court the visit of lizards.
The vehemence with which Plateau people reject any policy that
undermines the peace for which they are known is as potent today as it
will always be. Governor Lalong is on his own and alone this path of self-
destruct which he has chosen.
Lalong is a downward ride and has descended so low to the extent that
he has lost his humanity, if he can’t console the Government and people
of Benue State, then, his silence at this time is golden.
To regain his humanity, it is only humanly possible that he apologises to
the Government and people of Benue State.
Comrade Clinton Garuba
Media Consultant to Sen. Dr. David Jonah Jang
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