Governor Simon Lalong has debunked the allegation being made by some people that some villages have been taken over by herdsmen in the State and that the government has not done anything about it.
The Governor stated this at the interdenominational church service to commemorate the 2023 Plateau Day of Forgiveness and Reconciliation held at St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Rantya Jos.
He stated that there is no report on his table that any village has been taken over, adding that the government took proactive steps to prevent such from happening by passing and signing into law the Anti-Land Grabbing Law in 2020.
“By this law, anyone whose land has been forcefully taken is expected to write to me, his traditional ruler, the Local Government Chairman, an elected representative, or even approach the court directly for redress.
“So far, no one or any community has done so rather, some people sit here in their homes and elsewhere to engage in politics and blackmail. I want the world to know that what we have been doing is returning displaced persons who fled their homes due to attacks back to their ancestral lands.
“For example, the site for the construction of a police mobile barracks in Kakuruk, Gashish District, Barkin Local Government, has been handed over to the contractor, who will start work immediately to provide security for the people to return to their lands.
“Another village, Jong Community in Ropp District of Barkin Ladi, was returned to its abode two months ago. “Similarly, the Shonong Community in Bachit District of Riyom Local Government has also been returned to their homes,” he said.
Governor Lalong said anyone who has such a complaint should write to the government or go to court to protest such an infraction if it happens, promising that he will not spare anyone who tries to lay claim to any inch of Plateau that does not belong to him.
Governor Lalong further stated that Taraba under his watch has put behind its dark days that were characterized by violence and destruction and “is now coasting to prosperity, unity, and peaceful coexistence” as a result of the decisive actions taken by his administration “to provide a platform for the citizens to drive the peace and reconciliation process.
The governor said the people have broken down the barriers to peaceful coexistence by engaging one another and uniting against crisis merchants.