The chairman of the Southern Governors Forum Rotimi Akeredolu has challenged the attorney general of the federation Abubakar Malami to seek legal redress over the ban on open grazing.
“It is most unfortunate that the AGF is unable to distil issues as expected of a Senior Advocate. Nothing can be more disconcerting,” Akeredolu said in a statement.
Read More: Southern governors ban on open grazing is dangerous, Malami warns
“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.”
Malami on Wednesday opposed the southern governors’ decision to ban open grazing in their states.
The attorney general said such ‘unconstitutional’ resolution is dangerous for the country.
Seventeen governors from southern Nigeria met last week resolved to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in the region over cases of kidnappings and killings that have been traced to criminal elements amongst herders.
But Malami disagrees with the governors, saying their decision is against the constitutional right of freedom of expression for other Nigerians who are herders.
He compared the ban on open grazing to banning all spare parts dealers in the Northern parts of the country.
Akeredolu, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) like Malami, said the attorney general’s comparison of herdsmen and spare parts dealers “betrays a terrible mindset.”
“This outburst should, ordinarily, not elicit response from reasonable people who know the distinction between a legitimate business that is not in anyway injurious and a certain predilection for anarchy,” Akeredolu said.
“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.”
The Ondo State governor said “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.”