Days after members of the State House of Assembly issued a two-week ultimatum to Governor Simon Lalong to deal with the spiralling insecurity in the state or face their wrath, it’s building has been sealed and accusing fingers are being pointed in the direction of Lalong.
But the Plateau State government has denied that it has a hand in the sealing even as the House Speaker, Hon. Abok Nuhu Ayuba, repeated the allegation on Channels TV.
On television the Speaker said the action by the state government was unconstitutional, adding that when lawmakers called on the people to defend themselves, it was done in good faith.
“We are not saying the people should carry arms against anybody, the people should defend themselves, they should carry arms and stay awake and not sleep.
“Plateau people wish the governor would speak for them just as he spoke for the people who were killed in Rukuba road early this month.”
“We brought him in to defend the people of Plateau State. We did not say he should defend Mr A and leave Me. B. He should defend the people of Plateau State.
“Please the Channels (TV) can follow us in the next two hours we are going to the state House of Assembly; all the members are going to the House of Assembly and you will see things for yourself. The lack of obedience to the constitution of the country.”
However, in a statement, the Executive arm said, “This false allegation has further been circulated on social media associating the Executive arm of Government and the Governor as being behind it,” State Commissioner of Information and Communication, Mr. Dan Manjang, signatory to the statement said.
“We wish to make it abundantly clear that the Executive arm of Government and the Governor is not aware or behind the purported sealing of the House as it does not dabble into the affairs of another independent arm of Government,” he added.
Everyday.ng recalls that a brewing anger among residents of Plateau State boiled over to the Plateau State of Assembly which told the people to rise up and defend themselves, while giving the State Governor, Simon Lalong , two weeks to deal with the issue of insecurity or face the music from lawmakers.
Lalong has often been accused of pandering to Fulani herdsmen and militants to the detriment of Natives who are often slaughtered without a whimper from him. However, he is often accused of crying more than the bereaved when natives retaliate attacks.
There are whispers that the governor is taking too far his relationship with the Presidency too far, and appears not to care if his people are decimated simply because he is fishing for higher office. He is believed to be eyeing the vice-presidency in 2023.
Addressing newsmen in Jos, the Chairman House Committee on Information Hon. Dadun Peter Philip said, “We call on the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, to come up with a statement defending us as a people and to bring back renewed commitment to the cause of Plateau.”
“We are still expecting with high hopes, the president to also come up with a statement about the killings in Yelwa Zangam just as he did in the killings of travellers along Rukuba Road and to also indicate a sign of justice or we will see him as being reflexive about the conflict in Plateau.
“As an Assembly committed to the yearnings and aspirations of our people, we deeply appreciate the calls made by Plateau people, both at home and in the diaspora, for encouragement and tasking us to do the needful in order to save Plateau and its heritage.
The House praised the youths on the Plateau for the continuous campaigns, even on social media, against the killings.
“As an assembly with people at heart, we call on Plateau State citizens to have confidence in us with renewed commitment as we have given two (2) weeks to the governor to take action on the resolutions the House has forwarded on security matters and how to restore peace.
“We strongly call on Plateau People to practically stand up and defend themselves and their communities, as the conventional security design is no longer guaranteeing our safety as a people.”
But on Monday, Manjang said regardingthe sealing of the Assembly: “It is on record that His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako was the first Governor to implement full Autonomy for the legislature and Judiciary as well as Local Government in the country.
“It is therefore not possible for him to be associated with any action that will impede on the activities of the House which has its rules and conventions.
“The Governor remains the longest serving Speaker of the House in the history of democracy in Plateau State, understands the workings of the House, and has demonstrated uncommon respect to the leadership and members of the Assembly.
“To the best of our knowledge, the House of Assembly remains open for legislative business. The good people of Plateau State and members of the public are advised to ignore the allegation and refrain from dragging the Executive arm of Government and the Governor into the affairs of the House.
“Those who have any concerns should channel them to the security agencies and desist from peddling falsehood against the Executive arm of Government and His Excellency the Governor.
Also on Monday, Lalong relaxed curfews imposed on parts of the state due to insecurity.
In a statewide broadcast he disclosed that the 24-hour curfew in Jos North is now to be enforced from 6pm to 6am until further notice.
“The curfew in Jos South and Bassa is to also be further relaxed,” Lalong said.
“As from Monday 30th August 2021, the curfew shall be enforced between 10pm to 6am until further notice.”
Platrau has been sitting on a keg of gunpowder, sparking intermittently for years, with ethno-religious factors coming into play, but the state government, like Abuja, see them as criminals at work.