Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Thursday said the position of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami on the ban placed on open grazing by southern governors was unbecoming of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Akeredolu said the decision on the ban is final and irreversible, even as he advised Malami to approach the court if he feels that governors lack the power to make such pronouncement.
Malami was quoted to have equated the ban on open grazing in the south to banning spare parts dealers in the north.
But, Akeredolu said comparing open grazing, which has led to unnecessary loss of lives and the destruction of farmland “is not only strange. It, annoyingly, betrays a terrible mindset.”
The statement reads: “I have just read the press statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar 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 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 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 baning open grazing and 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.”