Senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana has alleged that the federal government is portraying itself as the “defender of herders” in the country. Featuring on Television Continental (TVC) programme “The Platform”, the lawyer stated that the forestry reserve law requires compulsory registration for those who want to carry out operations in states. Falana said; “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.”
The human rights activist who further stated that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s directive for herdsmen to leave 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 registered 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.”