Following the statement made by the Plateau State Governor and chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Simon Bako Lalong on Tuesday in which he said Fulani herdsmen alone should not be singled out for blame as carriers of AK-47 because farmers are also guilty of the same offense (HERE)
The National Coordinator, Prayer Force Network, Amb. John Pofi, JP has further called the statement of the Plateau state Governor as reckless, inciting and indicting.
It is quite sad that as the masses are struggling to cope with the monumental failure of leadership at all levels in Nigeria, where the government has failed to guarantee their security and safety of their property, we were greeted with the most uncharitable, uncoated and uncourteous statement by the Executive Governor of Plateau State on Channels Television Programme “Sunrise Daily”, Tuesday 23rd February 2021 where he said farmers are also guilty of carrying AK-47 guns and other firearms for self-defense.
This is unbecoming of the Chief Executive of a State whose peace is being threatened and people are being killed in their numbers on daily basis.
It is rather unfortunate hearing this from a Governor who has failed woefully in protecting the poor and innocent farmers and other citizens of his state who are attacked, harassed, raped and killed daily.
The same people he is accusing of carrying arms are poor people who can hardly afford two meals a day yet are being accused of buying and carrying AK-47 guns that are far beyond their financial reach.
It is on record that last week, over 6 persons who are poor farmers were gruesomely murdered in cold blood in Zirshe Village of Kwall Miango, Bassa LGA. This has been a recurring decimal the people have come to accept and have been living with.
It is expedient to know if Governor Lalong was the one who bought the guns and other firearms for the peasant farmers who he has failed to protect over the years.
Today due to incessant attacks, killings and takeover of our communities, we have over 50 communities in Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos and Bassa LGAs of the State that have been forcefully taken and presently being occupied by the killers.
When poor farmers expect to see action on the part of the Plateau State Governor and his Northern Counterparts whose region has been taken over and at the mercy of armed robbers, kidnapped, bandits and armed militias, they are being wrongly accused of carrying arms.
There is need to match words with action by prosecuting and sentencing kidnappers, bandits and land grabbers in the State in line with the new instant law signed by the Governor.
The governor in his usual uncoordinated comments, also lied that one or two Local government councils in the state are being headed by Fulanis, I want him to mention those LGs or if he is yet to create them, let him tell us when he will do so.
I have been following Governor Lalong’s sycophantic behavior for long and in his bootlicking mentality, it is far better to offend Plateau people than to say anything that will not go down well with the Aso Rock Villa, and despite his “closeness” to the Villa, the state has not benefitted anything from it.
I therefore call on Gov. Lalong to immediately withdraw such unguided, uncivil and precarious statement and tender a national apology to be published in at least three national dailies if he truly wants the majority of the people of plateau state to forgive him for such careless, clueless and inciting comments.
Amb. John Pofi, JP
National Coordinator, Prayer Force Network.