The bickering and quip of words between Governor Simon Lalong and his predecessor, Senator Jonah Jang appears to be un-ending, with jibes and accusations traded on a weekly basis.
Last week, ViewPointNigeria reported that Governor Simon Lalong, following a visit to the State House Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, spoke to State House Journalists and asserted that Senator Jonah Jang was the sponsor of the numerous grazing reserves protests in Jos – an accusation which Senator Jang did not take lightly.
This week, Senator Jonah Jang (through his media aide, Clinton Garuba), has responded with strong words, chiding the Governor for undermining the “will” and “resolve” of the Plateau people and trivialising their rejection of the grazing policy as mere acts of political orchestration.
Jang likened the state government’s proposal to implement the grazing policy on Plateau to the biblical story of Esau who sold his birthright for a pot of broth. Saying the financial gains which will accrue to the state from the grazing policy is nothing compared to the potential damage, conflict and problems that it could portend for generations yet unborn.
He warned the government not to play politics with the heritage of the people, saying if the Government lacks foresight, it should look at its neighbours in Benue state, who have clearly worked out the de-merits of the policy and have rejected it in unequivocal terms.
Full text of the press release as shared with ViewPointNigeria is below:
=======================================================================================The attention of the Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Sen. Jonah David Jang has been drawn to remarks made by the Plateau State Governor, Barr. Simon Bako Lalong to the effect that he (sen. Jang) was responsible for the protests that greeted the APC Government’s policy on grazing reserve, ranching or is it livestock whatever.
The fact that we have to struggled with a nomenclature for the anti-people policy is in itself a pointer to the fact that the government of the day doesn’t know what to do and is cleaving to anything just to portray itself to be working. It is unfortunate that Plateau State has found itself with a government that is willing to sacrifice its future in the mould of the biblical Esau who forfeited his birth right for a meal of porridge.
We have heard the government say, it is keying into to policy for the benefit of the money made available for the implementation of the policy. One is taken aback that the chief executive officer of a state does not even know what is in the best interest of his state but is only concerned about the financial inducement attached to a policy that has the potential to wreck a deadly blow on his people. Instead of the Lalong administration to concentrate on delivering the goods that he was voted into office for, he is busy expending energy on accusing Jang for his non-performance and ill preparation for governance.
Had the people not protested the policy, it would already have been implemented in Plateau State. One question that comes to mind is whether the Lanlong government is blind to the fact that those who have rejected are not a single tribe as the governor alluded to in his remarks at the Villa.
That the governor could describe his state civil servants as being hungry people only paints a true picture of a man who accidentally got to power. Sen. Jang has left an example with the Butura Milky Way Farm on how ranches could be built and managed not the current plan to use Federal Government’s money to acquire land for herdsmen in whatever guise as is being done by the Federal ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with conniving governors.
If Lalong does not have ideas, Benue State is not far from Jos, let him go there and ask what the Government is doing with respect to grazing reserves, routes, ranching or whatever name it is called where not even the harassment by state agent was able to stop the State Government in collaboration with the people from outlawing anything that is detrimental to the wellbeing of its people.
Well, it is not surprising, when you have a government that will cook up any falsehood just to blame its failure on an immediate past government, you do not have to expect much from it, you can only manage it through the period. It is cowardice to say one thing today and keep changing what was said owing to its failure to find acceptability.
Sen. Jang challenges the Lalong administration to publish any document where he endorsed the creation of grazing reserves in Plateau State throughout the eight-year tenure of his government, If indeed, he publishes any document then it’s fake and leave him with no option than to institute a legal action against the government. If all the governor can do, instead of addressing the issues he has to contend with at home, is to run to the Villa to try to rubbish Plateau people as if they were the once that voted for him, he indeed has lost track and should prepare to give way in 2019 to a government better prepared to serve the people of plateau State.
If the APC government accuses Jang of being behind the protest that stopped its plan to implement a grazing reserve policy in the state, then it is an indictment on itself for failing to unite and galvanise the people toward working for the growth and development of the state. If the stand of Jang has awakened the people to rejecting the mortgaging of their state, then the Barr. Lalong is right to have said Jang is responsible. It must however be stated in unequivocal terms that Sen. Jang does not support and will not support acquisition of land for herdsmen under any guise or by whatever nomenclature it is known.
We wish Barr. Lalong and his cohorts on the journey to selling off Plateau State well and urge them to go ahead with their pursuit for personal gain but they should also remember that the clock is ticking and they have limited time to either deliver on the dividends of democracy or be shown the way out in 2019.
As for Sen. Jang and all lovers of Plateau, we have only one heritage, a truly united and indivisible state where we will live in the serenity provided for us by God and nature.
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