From Gyang Bere, Jos
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Plateau State chapter, has described as ‘sad’ and ‘shameful’ comments made by Chairman of Northern Governors Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, suggesting farmers carry AK-47 rifles for protection in their farms.
The party, in a statement signed by state spokesman John Akans, said Governor Lalong should not compare the evil perpetrated by violent herdsmen who move about freely with AK-47s with poor and innocent farmers who are at the mercy of the militant herders.
‘This is a clear indication that with this continuous shameful outpouring and vituperations, our supposed dear Governor has lost his conscience and we believe his attitude is pointing to the known fact that the APC led administration in the state is not only insensitive to the plight of the people but they are out to destroy the heritage of Plateau, that’s why Mr. Lalong keeps disgracing himself thinking he is serving his master(s) diligently,’ the statement said.
‘It is very unfortunate that Plateau never got it this bad before, this is really sad for this great land, we are loosing our youths, women and children as a result of bandits/herdsmen attack, yet our Governor is still singing praises on the graves of the victims of gruesome murder, siege and land grabbing.’
The PDP called on Governor Lalong to tender his resignation, saying he is not competent to remain as Governor of Plateau State.
‘It is sad and horrible to experience another statement from our accidental Governor of Plateau State Barr. Simon Bako Lalong, on Channels TV “Sunrise Daily” 23/02 /2021 where the Chairman of Northern Governors Forum labeled our hardworking farmers as gun wielding people.
‘As a political party that is people centred we find this statement self-serving, derogatory, unpatriotic, misleading, malicious, satanic and not only a big lie but aiming at causing more disaffection to already fragile relationship between farmers and herders.
‘It is obvious that Governor Lalong has abandoned the herculean task of governance to making unguarded statements, as one that suffers verbal diarrhea, his statements are always anti people.’
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Plateau State, meanwhile, has described the state PDP as a confused and opportunistic political party.
In a statement signed by Mallam Bashir Musa Sati, APC State Secretary, the party dismissed insulations made by the PDP and said it is making a storm in a tea cup over Governor Lalong’s comments during an interview on Channels TV where he was alleged to have said that not only herdsmen carry arms.
‘For the benefit of those who did not watch the interview but relied on the propaganda extraction by Spokesman Akans and his team, here is what has generated sleepless nights for those the PDP want to brainwash,’ the APC spokesman said.
‘Today, we are now seeing the hazard of allowing people do open grazing here and there. But they (herders) also want solution; by the time you explain to them, they also want to stay in one place, they would also want to keep away from carrying AK-47. I’m not justifying anybody to carry AK-47 but don’t forget that in the course of our deliberations and investigations, it was not only Fulani herdsmen that were carrying AK-47, even farmers were carrying AK-47 to protect themselves. This is because of the failure of the security architecture which we must address immediately.
‘The question is, if the Governor wanted to make such direct accusation, will it be on TV? Is the PDP faction now the Chief security officer of the State? Do they have the intelligence report that the Governor has? Are they making excuses for people in possession of unlicensed arms? What point are they really trying to make? What is their goal?’