Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, yesterday, tendered an unreserved apology to his Benue state counterpart, Governor Samuel Ortom, over his remark that he had warned the latter not to implement the anti-open grazing law.
“I must say that I humbly apologize for my comments because I have seen that it was really misconceived and misinterpreted. That generated a lot of social media write-ups here and there about the issue. I apologize for that because neither the argument for or against helps the matter because it involves lives.
The Plateau governor said he was extremely sorry for his remarks, which were not helpful at the time he should have consoled and sympathized with the government and people of Benue State over the gruesome murder of over 73 innocent persons by rampaging herdsmen.
Governor Lalong, a lawyer, tendered the apologies to both Governor Samuel Ortom and the people of Benue State at a media briefing in Abuja; he further withdrew his sneering remark, which had generated so much reactions and write-ups most of which were lambasting him for making such comments in the face of the loss of human lives.
Lalong said, “I have great respect for the sanctity of human lives and the unity of the Middle Belt. I would not say Plateau is fighting Benue State at all. We are brothers and sisters. Benue was created out of Plateau. Nasarawa was created out of Pleteau.
“We still remain brothers and sisters. So I extend my prayers to all of them and I pray that God Almighty will give them the fortitude to bear the loss and grant the souls of the departed eternal rest.
Lalong however emphasized on the need for the people of the two states to fashion out ways to work together towards finding a lasting peace for Benue and Nigeria and not debate on things that could further lead to conflicts and carnage.
“This is to tell those who are for and against that there is need, especially at this time when lives are involved, for all of us to join hands to ensure that we work towards the resolution of the matter and helping in ensuring peace not only in Benue, but in Nigeria.”