In January 2018, the YNaija Injustice Blog published a story titled “Ortom knows what to do, but it is election season and he has to play the game”. In that story we emphasized the fact that the state Governor is not incapable of chasing the marauding herdsmen out of his state but he is being overwhelmed by his re-election on one hand and maintaining his loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari on the other hand. Events after that deadly attack has proven that the Governor sure knows what to do and Benue is experiencing some sorts of peace in recent times.
But the same cannot be said of Simon Lalong the Governor of Plateau state who unlike Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state who handled the Fulani herdsmen attack with a defini, Lalong rather chose to use kid gloves. If Simon Lalong was to be an effective leader in his state, he would have set up the necessary mechanisms to prevent the marauding herdsmen to make their way into the state rather he was gloating over the failure of neighboring Benue state to prevent the attackers from coming into the state.
At the peak of the Benue crisis, Lalong while addressing state house correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari said that he “warned” the Benue state Governor against implementing the anti-grazing law. As if that was not enough, some months after, he allegedly donated land to some Fulani community in the state for ranching and went to town boasting of his ability to protect his state from the attackers. One thing was unique in this effort “sycophancy”. He was doing that to discredit his fellow Governors while warming his hearts into the powers that be. June 26, 2018 herdsmen attacked three local governments of Jos South, Riyom, and Barkin Ladi killing hudreds.
As usual with Lalong, he has downplayed the crisis, it is alleged that unlike the befitting burial given to victims of herdsmen attack in Benue, they were given mass burial while some were buried by their families without any government support. For Simon Lalong, its politics before governance which is not in the interest of the peace and development of Plateau state.