- Shehu Sani has reacted to the quit notice given by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to herdsmen in Ondo
- The outspoken former Kaduna senator said it was wrong of Akeredolu to ask herders to leave his state because of the criminal activities of terrorists
- The presidency had condemned the decision of the state government, regarding it as a move that will cause serious ethnic problems
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A former Nigerian federal lawmaker, Shehu Sani, has spoken in all fairness in reaction to the plan by the Ondo state government to oust all herdsmen in its territory.
In a statement addressing the issue, Sani recognised the fact that the state has had to deal with threats of terrorism within its borders from some insurgents, The Nation reports.
However, the former senator called on Akeredolu not to punish the multitude of herdsmen for the sins of a few persons who share a similar ethnic background.
In clear terms, Sani said it is wrong to oust herders both from the state and anywhere in the country because herders, like all Nigerian citizens, have the right to live wherever they choose.
“My dear Governor Akeredolu, I’m quite aware of the security challenges facing your state. I appreciate your efforts, but it’s outrightly and completely wrong to ask ALL cattle herders to leave Ondo forests.
“The sins of a criminal few should not affect the law-abiding and peaceful ones who have the right to live and move freely in all parts of our country.
“Efforts must continue to be made to deal with those who breach the law, while and respecting and protecting the rights of the innocent.”
Earlier, the presidency had stepped in to make some clarifications.
Speaking on behalf of the presidency, a senior special Assistant to PresidentMuhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said that apart from the fact that the position of the state government goes against Nigeria's constitution, it can set certain things in motion.
Shehu pointed clearly that since Governor Akeredolu is a seasoned lawyer and a senior advocate of Nigeria for that matter, he knew better than to unilaterally oust thousands of herders from his state, an act which can earn him much heat from rights groups.
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