The Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has debunked a report trending in the state that his government had ceded parts of Riyom, Barkinladi and Bokkos local government areas of the state for the establishment of cattle colonies.
The rumour created tension especially in the affected local government areas.
A former governor of the state, who is also the senator for the Plateau North District, Jonah Jang, had earlier in a press statement vowed not to allow any land in his constituency to be donated for the establishment of cattle colonies.
But in a press statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dan Manjang, Governor Lalong said there was no substance to the report.
The statement reads:
“The attention of the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong has been drawn to the news making the rounds, particularly in the Social Media that “parts of Riyom, Barkin Ladi and Bokkos Local Government Areas have been carved out for the creation of colonies for cattle, in fulfilment of his promises to the Fulani who have pressured him, to either cede those areas or he faces the other side of their viciousness which may cost his aspirations”.
“The Governor herein after state unequivocally that this thinking is not only the figment of the imagination of its authors, who want to make political capital out of it, but false, malicious and highly mischievous.
“Governor Simon Bako Lalong has and does not contemplate such action and he further call on all good citizens of Plateau to bury such imagination of these elements bent on throwing the State into confusion. Cattle colonies are not in the imagination of Governor Lalong.
“Consequently, the Governor urge all peace loving citizens of Plateau State to discountenance such mischievous information but to gravitate towards issues that unite us rather than those that divide us.”
Mr. Lalong had previously in public expressed support for the plan by the federal government to establish cattle ranches with a view to addressing the rampant deadly clashes between herders and farmers across Nigeria.
On January 13 in Abuja, he told State House correspondents that he had asked for briefing by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on the cattle colony proposal.