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Benue Farmers accuse Governor Lalong of blackmail, falsehood

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

Governor Lalong

Farmers in Benue state have condemned and expressed shock by the statement made by the Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong, on Channels Television ‘Sunrise’ programme insinuating that “farmers are armed with AK-47 assault rifles like some Fulani herdsmen.”

Chairman of the Benue State Farmers Association, Aondongu Saaku, disclosed this in a statement signed and issued to newsmen in Benue on Wednesday, which indicated that, “The governor’s allegation is grossly unacceptable and an outright falsehood.”

According to the statement, Plateau State Governor’s utterances are an insult to farmers of Benue State in particular, and Nigerian farmers in general, whose efforts in feeding the nation are being frustrated by atrocities of armed herdsmen.

The farmers said, the governor claimed that, despite the many unprovoked attacks on farmers, who are killed in their hundreds and their only source of livelihood destroyed by armed herdsmen, they do not take the laws into their hands.

They appreciated Benue State’s Governor Samuel Ortom for his unflinching commitment to ensuring that thousands of farmers, who are displaced as a result of herdsmen attacks, return to their ancestral homes.

The Association called on the Federal Government to redeem its 10 billion naira resettlement pledge to facilitate a quick return to their ancestral homes, and also called on the national office of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria to rise up in defence.

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