Human rights activist and Senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana has stated that the federal government is portraying itself as the “defender of herders” in Nigeria.
Femi Falana who appeared on Television Continental (TVC) programme “The Platform”, stated that the forestry reserve law requires mandatory registration for those who want to carry out operations in states.
“There is nothing strange whether you are talking of Benue or Ekiti state or whatever. The federal government has come in to defend herders, whether anti-grazing law or whatever. At the same time, the federal government does not defend the poor, the beggars, the destitute and others who are forcefully arrested and deported to their states of origin.
“The federal government does not bother because they belong to the flotsam and jetsam of the society. So, that is why people are wondering.
“The federal government is portraying itself as the defender of herders and it is not very good.”
Falana who further added that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s order for herdsmen to vacate forest reserves in Ondo state should not have generated controversy, added that the state’s chapter of Miyetti Allah should have met with the governor and have its members so that they can continue their business in the state.
“That shouldn’t have attracted any controversy. What one would have expected the Miyetti Allah group in Ondo state to do is to ensure that all their members are registered; no more no less.
“I think that the federal government and the Ondo state government should ensure that this matter does not get out of hand, once the impression is being given that the state government is deporting herders.
“While the federal government portraying itself as the defender of herders is not very good, the federal government must defend all Nigerians, and at the same time also ensure that the laws of the country are complied with.”