Gov Lalong and ex-Gov Jang Clash Over Benue Killings

…. How else can one explain the mountain of infamy that Jang would be standing on to condemn Gov Lalong, says Lalong

…”Lalong 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, says Jang


Yakubu Busari, Jos


Lalong during his visit to Buhari on Thursday

Governor Simon Lalong has taken on his immediate predecessor in office and now Senator, Jonah Jang over remarks condemning his statements on the herders killings in Benue during his visit to President Muhammad Buhari in Aso Rock, Abuja, Thursday.

Lalong had reportedly told State House Correspondents in Abuja after meeting Buhari that he had informed his Benue counterpart, Samuel Ortom to be cautious in making and passing the anti-grazing law to avoid a possible breakdown of law and order, adding that he would rather support the cluster colony type ranch being proposed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for herders in states of the federation.

Coming at a period the Benue killings had drawn widespread national condemnation, while the Benue government made plans for the mass burial for the 78 victims, Jang thought his succession had wrong footed by his statement.


Senator Jonah Jang

Dang’s media aide, Comrade Clinton Garuba, in a statement on Friday, said it was sad that “Lalong 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,” Jang had said, adding “ 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.”

Swiftly, Lalong replied through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Samuel Emmanuel Nanle. In   a statement made available to this medium in Jos, Friday, he faulted Jang and charged him to reflect on his part in the crisis that ravaged the state during his tenure .

He said: “How else can one explain the mountain of infamy that Jang would be standing on to condemn Gov Lalong when under his very nose in March 2010, over 500 people where gruesomely Massacred in Dogo Nahawa (Dyemburuk), Rasat, and Zot less than 10 minutes drive away from his Du Residence and in his usual superhuman style of leadership, commiseration and empathy was lacking for the victims until help came from people with hearts of compassion in the country.

“Governor Lalong does not consider himself superhuman as is the case with Sen Jang, and as such he feels the pain of the tragic loss of innocent lives in the Benue attacks.

“Without Prompting Governor Lalong  extended condolences and solidarity with his Benue state counterpart and by extension all the victims of the  barbaric attacks in Benue.

“The likes of Jang and the PDP leadership on the Plateau should know that the Plateau people and all citizens of Nigeria who have lost  thousands of loved ones in the years of their leadership, know their crocodile tears and no amount of their playing to the  gallery with the unfortunate situation surrounding the misconstrued statement of the governor, can make them come clean on the empathy that was lacking in the dark days of killings under their stewardship.

“Governor Lalong  and Ortom know the common heritage which their states share, and the bond created by that common ancestry and heritage gives them every reason to stand strong together in finding a solution, to the common threat to peace which they are both confronted with.”