Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), on Monday, October 4, reacted to a statement attributed to the Special Assistant (Media) to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr Umar Gwandu, saying that the Federal Government supports herders who are planning to challenge Southern Governors anti-grazing law.
According to Falana, that is purely unconstitutional.
Gwandu,was quoted as saying that the Federal Government supports moves by herders to sue Southern Governors over the anti-open grazing bills they recently signed into law in their respective states.
Falana, argued that the decision of the Federal Government to take sides in the dispute between the herders and the Southern Governors is a “constitutional aberration and political suicide”, adding, “Specifically, it is a gross violation of Section 17 of the constitution which provides that the Nigerian people are entitled to equal rights and opportunities before the law and Section 42 thereof which has prohibited the Federal Government from conferring advantage on any group of citizens.
“Accordingly, the resources of the entire Nigerian people cannot be dissipated on defending herders against State governments.”
He said the alliance between the herders and the Federal Government is completely at variance; with the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the government which has adopted ranching.
According to him, “In defending the herders in the case the Federal Government will certainly run into serious contradictions; having made available the sum of N6.2bn to Katsina for ranching; the Federal Government will not be permitted to turn round to embrace open grazing. The court will not allow the Federal Government to approbate and reprobate at the same time,” .