A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has said that the order by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on unregistered herders to vacate Ondo forest was legal.
He accused the Presidency of mismanaging the crisis by rushing to the media to challenge the order, adding that the action of the Presidency polarised the people along ethnic lines to the detriment of national security.
In a statement he released on Sunday, Falana maintained that the order by Akeredolu was in line with Section 42 (1) (e) and (g) of the Forestry Law of Ondo State which stipulated that whoever in any forest reserve, except with the authority in writing of the prescribed officer, digs, cuts, turns or cultivates the soil or makes a farm or plantation; pastures cattle or permits cattle to trespass or trespasses in any part of forest reserves in which trespass shall be prohibited by an order of the governor.
Wondering why the Presidency failed to study the law carefully before condemning Akeredolu’s order Falana said:
“Without addressing the relevant provisions of the Forestry Law or reaching out to Governor Akeredolu, the Presidency rushed to the media to challenge the directive of the Ondo State Government as it might affect undocumented herders operating in the said forests.
Regrettably, such official mismanagement of the crisis has been allowed to polarise the people along ethnic lines to the detriment of national security.”
Meanwhile, Falana said “with respect to the brewing 4082 in Ondo State we call on Governor Akeredolu (SAN) to extend the seven-day ultimatum to allow all farmers and herders operating in the forest reserve to register with the state government without any delay.”
He added, “The Miyetti Allah and similar groups should ensure that all their members who have not registered with the state government do so without any further delay in the overall interest of the security of the people in the state.”
To address the issue of insecurity across the country, Falana urged President Muhammadu Buhari to summon a Nigeria Police Council meeting.
“As a matter of urgency, the Federal Government should mobilise adequate police and other security forces to halt the menace of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, armed robbery and other violent crimes in the land,” he said.
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION: 4 yrs after completion, Kwara PHC facility inactive, rural dwellers in pains
In the middle of the night sometime in September 2019, Fatimah Ballah struggled with severe pains as she tries to...
INVESTIGATION: How Oyo State, contractors spent N1.1bn on water projects, but communities don’t have a drop
Multimillion naira water projects largely initiated by the late Abiola Ajimobi-led state government in Oyo State to benefit over 40...
INVESTIGATION: In Cross River, civil servants retire into poverty as govt looks away, squanders funds on frivolities
Thousands of civil servants in Cross River State struggle to stay alive as they are denied their gratuities and monthly...
Students suffer as contractors abandon Kano school projects after receiving over N70m
In 2019, to improve the condition of public schools in Kano State, the Federal Government disbursed millions of naira to...
SPECIAL REPORT: World Bank road projects go bad in Enugu, as state govt fails to fulfill promise
Counterpart funded road projects between the world Bank and Enugu State government have started to fail, as the state government...