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Benue Massacre: Ortom/Lalong Drama Takes Another Twist

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has asked his Plateau state counterpart, Simon Lalong, to desist from “warning” him as related to the affairs of Benue state.

Governor Ortom, who gave the warning to a representative of Lalong at the stakeholders’ meeting with the National Economic Council Technical Committee on Herdsmen/Farmers’ Crisis Resolution, said Governor Lalong should “mind his own business.”

The governor at the meeting recalled a conversation his deputy, Benson Abounu, had with Governor Lalong, where the Plateau state governor reiterated his warning over the anti-grazing law.

Governor Ortom questioned why Governor Lalong decided to issue him a warning on his own turf and asked him not to interfere with Benue affairs just as he would stay away from Plateau affairs.

“My deputy told me that he had a discussion with Lalong recently at a function, where he (Lalong) said that he had to apologise to me over his statement because of pressure on him, saying, he stands by his earlier statement.

“He also told the people that he introduced this woman (pointing at the woman on the high table) in this committee to me, whereas, this woman was introduced to me by Nasir el-Rufai, not him.

“Thank God he has a representative here; please tell him to stop interfering with the affairs of my state; let him mind his business in Plateau and I will mind my own business here.

“I am the governor here (Benue); how can he say that he warned me? Who is he to warn me? He can only advise me”, Governor Ortom said.

Lalong had, at the peak of the herdsmen’s attacks on Benue State, publicly stated that he had warned Ortom against the new law.

The meeting, which was chaired by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, was attended by some National Assembly members, religious leaders, traditional rulers and opinion moulders.

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