By Chuks Onyema-Aziken
Plateau State governor, Hon. Simon Lalong has apologised for commenting on the recent massacre in Benue State by suspected herdsmen.
Lalong had shortly after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja, told State House reporters that he had warned his Benue counterpart that the anti-open grazing law would backfire, if not carefully implemented.
The AUTHORITY gathered that Lalong, who returned to the country on the eve of the controversial interview, was oblivious of the fact that the burial for the victims of the massacre was underway.
The governor’s comment had sparked a barrage of reactions, with many accusing him of insensitivity, and for working against the interests of the Middle belt.
Addressing a press conference at the weekend in Abuja, Lalong said he deeply regretted the comments which portrayed him as insensitive to the mood in Benue State and the country.
“I am deeply sorry for what I said, and apologise. It wasn’t my intention to use the unfortunate death of several innocent people to spark a controversy. I have read and heard several comments for and and against what I said. I am very sorry to have said such at a time people were grieving and mourning,” said the governor.
He continued, “There is no point for any blame game at this time as any blame game would further divide us. Benue and Plateau are one, What do I stand to gain if Benue or any other state is in crisis?
“To me, what is most important at this time is for us all to find a lasting solution to this problem so that we can all live in peace and harmony, not only Benue or Plateau States, but all over Nigeria,” he stressed.
The governor said he was in touch with political, traditional and religious leaders in Benue State, and would visit the state to “personally offer my deepest condolences.”