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Ortom: Lalong lied! I confronted him over the phone

Author:
Dyepkazah Shibayan

Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, says Simon Lalong, his Plateau counterpart, never warned him over the anti-grazing law.

On Thursday, Lalong said he warned Ortom against implementing the law in his state.

But speaking on Friday when he received a delegation of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the Benue governor said he confronted Lalong after someone drew his attention to what he said.

Ortom said the Plateau governor denied making the statement.

“Yesterday, somebody drew my attention that he (Lalong) made a comment that he warned me not to implement the law and I was wondering if my colleague from Plateau state could say that; so I called him and he told me he did not say it,” said Ortom.

“But later, when I watched it on Channels Television, I tried to get back to him (but) he did not pick my call… I wanted to remind him, when I finally confirmed that he said it, that the last time I went to Jos for a thanksgiving service in one of the churches, on my way back I felt like paying homage to him and I did, and he told me that he was under pressure to also enact that law and that he’s going to do it.

“He told me himself; so coming back to say that, I don’t understand but all the same, let us leave all these things.”

Ortom, who has vowed not to back down on the law, said even if Lalong had warned him, he would not have complied because the law emanated from the people.

“Even if he had warned me, it was beyond me. It’s about Benue state and I’m not talking of Plateau state,” Ortom said.

“The law is what the Benue people want. Is there any person in Benue that’s against this law? The answer is no. I consulted widely and it originated from the people themselves.”

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