Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has apologized to his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, over his comment condemning the implementation of anti-open grazing law in the state.
The Plateau state governor had attributed recent killing of over 70 persons in Benue State to the implementation of anti-grazing law by Gov. Ortom.
He also said he had warned Ortom against implementing the law.
His comment sparked outrage and condemnation from diverse segments of Nigerians.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja Lalong said “Concerning the lingering issue after my presidential visit in respect to the crisis in Benue State I apologies to the Governor and people of Benue sate”.
He continued “first of all, let me use this opportunity to once again extend my felicitation and also to extend our condolences to the people of Benue state over this great loss. My prayer is that God would continue to give them and every Nigerian the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss . I must say that I humbly apologize for my comment because I have seen that it was really misconceived and misinterpreted.
“The comment generated a lot of social media attention . So I apologize for that because either argument for or against does not help the matter because it involves loss of lives. I have great respect the people and feel pained by the loss of lives. I am also concerned about the unity of the middle belt.
“I would not want any impression created that Plateau is fighting Benue state at all, we are all brothers and sisters. Benue was created out of Plateau and Nassarawa was created out of Plateau, we still remain brothers and sisters .”
The Governor continued “I once again extend my apologies to the Governor. I pray to all the families of the deceased that God almighty will give them the fortitude to bear the loss.and also grant souls of the departed eternal rest.“