The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami says the resolve to ban open grazing in Southern Nigeria is the same thing as Northern Governors prohibiting sales of spare parts in their own region.
Malami stated this while reacting to the resolution by the Southern Governors’ Forum last week to ban open grazing of cattle across the region due to security concerns.
KanyiDaily had reported that the southern governors met on last week in Asaba, Delta State, and resolved to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in the region.
The governors explained that the resolution was reached due to some kidnappings and killings in the Southern region have been traced to criminal elements amongst herders.
However, during an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday, Malami faulted the decision of the southern governors, saying they cannot deny the freedom of Nigerians to move around the country as enshrined in the constitution.
“It is about constitutionality within the context of the freedoms expressed in our constitution. Can you deny the rights of a Nigerian?” he queried.
“For example: it is as good as saying, perhaps, maybe, the northern governors coming together to say they prohibit spare parts trading in the north.
“Does it hold water? Does it hold water for a northern governor to come and state expressly that he now prohibits spare parts trading in the north?”
Malami asked the southern governors to facilitate the amendment of the 1999 constitution (as amended) to prohibit open grazing.
“If you are talking of constitutionally guaranteed rights, the better approach to it is to perhaps go back to ensure the constitution is amended,” he said.
“Freedom and liberty of movement among others established by the constitution, if by an inch you want to have any compromise over it, the better approach is go back to the national assembly to say open grazing should be prohibited and see whether you can have the desired support for the constitutional amendment.
“It is a dangerous provision for any governor in Nigeria to think he can bring any compromise on the freedom and liberty of individuals to move around.”
Watch the video below:
On the issue of banning grazing, the AGF asks if you deny the rights of a Nigerian citing the example of Northern governors coming together to ban the trade of spare parts in the north. Does it hold water? #PoliticsToday pic.twitter.com/VRzAMH4mt6
— Channels Television (@channelstv) May 19, 2021
KanyiDaily recalls that a former Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko had urged the southern governors to meet with their northern counterparts to resolve the areas of differences and save the country from its current predicament.