- Femi Falana (SAN) has spoken on the federal government's reactions to Governor Akeredolu's directive to herdsmen in Ondo state
- The human rights lawyer said the FG's response portrayed it as a defender of herdsmen, instead of being a defender of all Nigerians
- Falana advised the herders association to meet with Akeredolu and register its members in line with the governor's directive
Nigeria's prominent human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has accused the federal government of portraying itself as the defender of herdsmen in the country.
The Cable reports that the senior lawyer made the accusation when he appeared as a guest on a Television Continental (TVC) programme on Sunday, January 24.
Legit.ng notes that Falana was reacting to the directive issued to Fulani herdsmen in Ondo state by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, asking them, especially those not registered, to vacate the state's forest reserves.
Akeredolu issued the directive as part of his efforts to tackle kidnapping and other criminal activities in the southwest state.
However, the presidency said the governor cannot order herders out of Ondo state, saying such move can trigger crises.
Defend all Nigerians, not just herders - Falana to FG
Reacting to the development, Falana called on the federal government to defend the rights of all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe or class, and stop portraying itself as the defender of herders alone.
The senior lawyer said:
“The federal government is portraying itself as the defender of herders and it is not very good.”
He said the forestry reserve law in the state requires compulsory registration for those who want to carry out operations there.
Falana called on the herders association, Miyetti Allah, to meet with the governor and register its members so that they can continue with their cattle rearing business in the state.
He also urged the presidency and the Ondo government to ensure that the conflict between herders and farmers does not get out of hand.
Olusegun Esuruoso commented on Facebook:
"Buhari is defender of Fulani herders? Are folks just realizing this now? It had been clearly written on the wall even before he became president."
Abdullahi Isa said:
"When same government defended Kukah no body talk. Na now ok oooo"
Ohaegbu Emmanuel Emeka
"That is the unfortunate situation we found ourselves in this country, come to think of it I found it difficult to believe that this was the same man I was sheepishly clamouring and voting for since 2003, I weep for this country."
Tajudeen Mayowa said:
"But FG also defended Mathew Kukah when he was been threatened by the northern youths in Sokoto, what was Falana reaction to this? was sheepishly clamouring and voting for since 2003, I weep for this country."
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Miyetti Allah has reportedly agreed to meet with southwest governors on Monday, January 25.
The decision to hold a peace meeting is following the expiration of the 7-day ultimatum issued by Governor Akeredolu.
The association's chairman in Ondo state, Alhaji Bello Garba confirmed the meeting, saying the national leadership had arrived in Akure in preparation for talks.
Nigerian Herdsmen vs Nigerian Farmers | Legit TV