Plateau’s apex diaspora body in the UK, i.e., the Plateau State Association, UK has launched a scarthing attack at the silly and commical statements attributed to the Plateau State Governor –Barr. Simon Lalong to the effect that farmers bear AK-47.
In a strongly worded response, the diaspora body expressed shock, disappointment and anger at the constant denigration of Plateau and its citizens by the same person who is meant to be the chief advocate and vanguard of the state. It wondered how a Governor can be so careless, callous and insensitive to perpetually play the card of the oppressor and not that of the people who gave him the mandate.
See the full statement of the report below.
The Plateau State Association UK (PSA-UK) observes with rude shock, consternation and utter disappointment, the reckless statements made by the Plateau State Governor, Barr. Simon Lalong on 23rd February 2020 during the Channels-TV “Sunrise Daily” programme, to the effect that “farmers in Plateau State bear AK-47s”.
While the main umbrella body of farmers in Plateau state, the All-Farmers-Association-of-Nigeria (AFAN) has already responded to the governor and cautioned him about making such dangerous statements, PSA UK feels the need to highlight the following key points.
- In line with the response by AFAN, PSA-UK is unaware of any time that Plateau farmers were arrested with AK-47s, as such we are perplexed by the motive of this inflammatory statement which is capable of exposing farmers to more attacks and plunging Plateau into deeper crisis.
- We note that in our numerous meetings in London with Governor Lalong over the last few years, the excuses he would adduce as to why herdsmen continue to attack farmers, ranged from saying it is being perpetuated by “unknown gunmen”, to then accusing farmers of being the architects of their fate because they rustle cattle and now to the delusional and alarming statement about farmer’s bearing AK-47 assault rifles –we are really confused and disappointed by these series of blatant mis-truths.
- It is an incontestable fact that killings by AK-47 bearing herdsmen has left thousands of widows, orphans and desperate families in Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, Mangu, Jos South, Jos North etc all of whom the Plateau state government has failed woefully to protect or rehabilitate. And many of these desperate people remain displaced from their ancestral lands; living hopelessly in make-shift IDP camps, while their homes/lands have been overtaken by herdsmen (without action by the state government).
In light of the above, it is unthinkable that the elected governor, who is meant to be the chief custodian of the interest of Plateau people (who elected him) will turn on them and accuse them of bearing AK-47s –this is the greatest height of injustice (and Governor Lalong should bow his head in shame). The damage done to Plateau by this blatant mis-truth may take the next 7 decades to undo (long after Governor Lalong has had his time).
Our humble suggestion to the Governor is that he re-schools himself about what service-to-the-people really means, by learning from Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue state and Ishaku Darius of Taraba state, who have consistently stood on the side of the “people” and not on the side of powerful masters/interests.
Mr Rwang Chall
(President, Plateau State Association — UK)