Abubakar Malami erred grossly in his proclamation on open grazing, SANs, Afenifere tackles him.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu Thursday gave a deadly body slam on Malami when said Justice Minister Abubakar Malami, has a terrible mindset comparing open grazing with auto spare parts business

He was reacting to the TV statement of Justice Minister Abubakar Malami, questioning the right of southern governors to ban open grazing.

In a statement, Akeredolu who chairs the Southerner Governors Forum and is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) like Malami said the ban is irreversible and will be enforced.

He said the Governors are ready to defend their decision in court.

The Ondo Governor found strange Malami’s comparison of open grazing with auto parts trading. He said such thinking ‘betrays a terrible mindset.’

Read Akeredolu’s Statement:

OUR DECISION IS IRREVERSIBLE AND WILL BE ENFORCED

I have just read the press statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Shehu Malami SAN on the resolution of the Southern Governors Forum to ban open grazing in their respective States. The AGF is quoted to have said that this reasoned decision, among others, is akin to banning all spare parts dealers in the Northern parts of the country and is unconstitutional.

It is most unfortunate that the AGF is unable to distill issues as expected of a Senior Advocate. Nothing can be more disconcerting. This outburst should, ordinarily, not elicit a response from reasonable people who know the distinction between a legitimate business that is not in any way injurious and a certain predilection for anarchy.

Clinging to an anachronistic model of animal husbandry, which is evidently injurious to harmonious relationship between the herders and the farmers as well as the local populace, is wicked and arrogant.

Comparing this anachronism, which has led to the loss of lives, farmlands, and property, and engendered untold hardship on the host communities, with buying and selling of auto parts is not only strange. It, annoyingly, betrays a terrible mindset.

Mr. Malami is advised to approach the court to challenge the legality of the Laws of the respective States banning open grazing and the decision of the Southern Governor Forum taken in the interest of their people. We shall be most willing to meet him in Court.

The decision to ban open grazing stays. It will be enforced with vigour.

SIGNED

ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI O AKEREDOLU, SAN

GOVERNOR, ONDO STATE

The Pan Yoruba Socio-Political Group, Afenifere blasted the Attorney General of the Federal Government, Abubakar Malami for likening the ban of open grazing of cattle by the southern governors to spare part trading in the North.

Its Secretary-General, Chief Sola Ebiseni, in a statement in Akure, Ondo State capital said Malami’s “sectarian and emotional vituperations pitiably exposed him as being most unfit for the office of an Attorney General having always allowed his sectarian disposition becloud his eminent qualifications.

The group’s statement was entitled “Malami; Attorney General and Agent Provocateur. It said that “Malami does not want serious-minded people to accord him and his high office each time he accepts to play the roles of errand boy and spokesperson of the Miyetti Allah and their herders’ members.

“Each time Malami perceives a threat to the interests of Fulani herdsmen, he is quick to latch on to constitutional provisions which are not relevant to the object of discourse.

“He was readily on hand to vehemently denounce the Amotekun South West regional security initiative as being targeted against Fulani herdsmen and so declared it unconstitutional.

“When challenged to approach the Court, he had since developed cold feet. The group’s statement reads “the sectarian and emotional vituperations of Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federal Government on the ban of open grazing of cattle by the Governors of Southern Nigeria did not come to discerning Nigerians as a surprise.

Afenifere said that “contrary to his latest vituperations, the ban on open grazing and movement of animals by foot is not a denial of “freedom and liberty of movement and does not require the slightest touch of the constitution for the governor to pronounce.

“For the attention of Malami, most of the states already have laws banning open grazing and the pronouncement of the governors was merely to give effect to existing law.

“It is the animal that is being prohibited from grazing openly and being moved by foot except Malami intends to extend the inalienable human rights in the constitution to animals in the defense of a culture which gives more care to cattle than human beings.

“It is the same primitive mindset of which the Buhari administration has threatened the Governor of Benue State that he would have no place except he allowed a free reign of animals.

“Malami was mischievously playing the role of an agent provocateur when he was inciting Northern Governors to place a ban on spare parts trading in which southerners are involved.

“ln deference to their religious and cultural sensibilities, some of the northern states made laws banning trading in alcoholic substances and have been seen destroying such wares in their millions notwithstanding that they share in the VAT collected on those goods and no one is crying over it.

“We in the Afenifere support the resolutions of the Southern Governors banning open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in our territory. “Those who can cope with the destruction of farmlands and produce by animals and are also permissive of criminality by terrorist herdsmen are free to open their vast lands for such purposes.

“Nigeria will only exist and thrive on the terms agreeable by all its constituent nationalities. Afenifere said that “Officials of the Federal Government should be advised that their jaundiced sectarian views are eloquent testimony that the Buhari administration has lost the confidence of the generality of Nigerians.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Constitutional Lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has lampooned the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, for his comment on open grazing; Adegboruwa expressed that the AGF does not have the constitutional power to make a proclamation for the country.

“The proponents of open grazing support it with the right to freedom of movement granted under section 41 of the Constitution.

This section cannot be interpreted to violate other constitutional provisions, especially section 43 that grants the right to private or public property.

“You cannot deploy the right to movement of person and cattle to violate the right of another citizen to own property, such as land or farmland, or else you become a trespasser. It is in this regard that I disagree with the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation when he said that the ban on open grazing is unconstitutional. That cannot represent a proper interpretation of the Constitution, with all due respect.

“The AGF is a member of the Executive arm of government, under section 5 of the Constitution. The Constitution has not assigned any role to the AGF to make proclamations for the country. To that extent, his comment is ultra vires, being beyond and outside his office as a Minister. The role of interpreting the Constitution is the exclusive preserve of the Courts under the Constitution,” he said.

The activist SAN charged the Houses of Assembly of the States that have proscribed open grazing to go ahead to make laws to support their declarations.

“It is only after then that the AGF can approach the court for judicial interpretation.

“I urge the Governors to proceed speedily, with the implementation of their lawful and courageous declarations, and not be misled, intimidated, or distracted by the comments from the federal government.

“There is no doubt that we cannot generalize, to say that all “Fulani herdsmen” are guilty of violence and destruction, but we must tackle those criminals who have invaded their ranks, for purposes other than grazing. Truth is, genuine Fulani herdsmen offer food, dairy, employment, and prosperity for the land and this is desirable. The ban on open grazing is, therefore, necessary to protect the genuine herdsmen and help preserve their vocation from the marauders,” he said.


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