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Benue killings: Lalong never warned me not to implement anti-grazing bill - Ortom

The governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, has stated that he was never warned against implementing the anti-open grazing law by his Plateau counterpart, Simon Lalong, The Cable reports. Ortom made his comments while receiving a delegation of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on Friday, January 12. 

Lalong had stated that he did warn Ortom against implementing the law. 

The Benue governor however, stated that after his attention had been drawn to Lalong’s comments , he confronted him; but the latter denied making the statement. 

He stated: “Yesterday, somebody drew my attention that he (Lalong) made a comment that he warned me not to implement the law and I was wondering if my colleague from Plateau state could say that; so I called him and he told me he did not say it. “But later, when I watched it on Channels Television, I tried to get back to him (but) he did not pick my call. 

“I wanted to remind him, when I finally confirmed that he said it, that the last time I went to Jos for a thanksgiving service in one of the churches, on my way back I felt like paying homage to him and I did, and he told me that he was under pressure to also enact that law and that he’s going to do it. “He told me himself; so coming back to say that, I don’t understand. But all the same, let us leave all these things.”

Ortom further stated that even if he had indeed been warned by his Plateau counterpart, he wouldn’t have backed down, as the law was the will of his people. In his words: “Even if he had warned me, it was beyond me. It’s about Benue state and I’m not talking of Plateau state. “The law is what the Benue people want. Is there any person in Benue that’s against this law? The answer is no. I consulted widely and it originated from the people themselves.”