The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has told his Plateau State counterpart, Simon Lalong, to mind his own business and stop interfering with the affairs of Benue. Ortom was speaking at the stakeholders meeting with the National Economic Council Technical Committee on Herdsmen/Farmers Crises Resolution when he handed this warning to Lalong’s representative.
Ortom said his deputy, Benson Abounu, informed him about the discussion he had with Lalong recently at a function, where the Plateau State Governor insisted that he warned Ortom not to go ahead with the Benue State anti-open grazing law. Ortom said, “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.”Lalong had told journalists in Abuja just after about 73 people were killed in Benue by suspected herdsmen in January that he Ortom against the new law. He later apologised to Ortom over the statement after it was greeted by criticisms from many Nigerians.
The stakeholders meeting, which was led by the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi held at the new banquet hall of the state government house on Sunday night. The meeting, which had in attendance some National Assembly members, religious leaders, traditional rulers and other prominent Nigerians dragged into the early hours of Monday.