Lagos lawyer and former President of the West African Bar Association (WABA), Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, on Sunday expressed concern over the danger posed to farmers by herdsmen in the country, threatening to sue the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration if nothing is done to address the problem.
He also threatened to sue the Federal Government and state governments with large livestock populations in order to compel them to establish grazing reserves and ranches.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria issued this threat against the backdrop of the recent kidnapping of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and former presidential candidate, Chief Olu Falae, by Fulani herdsmen in his farm in a suburb of Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Falana in a statement on Sunday said: “Once again, I call on President Buhari to address the bloody clashes which occur regularly between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in the various parts of the country.
“Through the negligence of the states, the country has continued to witness the reckless killing of innocent farmers and the destruction of farmlands.
“Farmers, like other citizens, are entitled to the protection of the right to life and property. To halt such wanton killings, the primitive movement of thousands of herds of cattle from the north to the south should be stopped without any further delay.
“In the interim, states which have large livestock populations should take advantage of the Land Use Act to acquire land for the establishment of grazing reserves.
“In view of the increasing incident of cattle rustling, security measure should be put in place to police the grazing reserves.
“The said grazing reserves will be phased out gradually and replaced with ranches and abattoirs.
“However, since the Federal Government is obligated to protect the life and property of every citizen, urgent steps should be taken to avert further killings and destruction of farmlands by herdsmen.
“If the Buhari Administration does not discharge its constitutional duty by stopping the unwarranted civil disturbances we shall not hesitate to pray the federal high court to compel it to act responsibly in the circumstance by ensuring the protection of the fundamental rights of every farmer to life and property”.