By Musa Baba Adamu
The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is also the chairman of Southern Governors Forum (SGF), has said the decision held by the Governors from the region, with regards to open grazing prohibition, is irreversible, even as he said it will be enforced in the zone.
In a statement he issued yesterday, reacting to a comment on Channels Television programme ‘Politics Today’, by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Akeredolu slammed the Minister of Justice for bringing ethnic sentiments to national discussion.
Recall that Malami had during the Television programme yesterday said the resolution by the Southern Governors banning open grazing of cattle by herdsmen is akin to northern Governors banning sale of motor spare parts in all the markets in the North and therefore cannot hold water, even as he urged them to approach the National Assembly for necessary constitutional amendment to that effect.
But reacting to this, Akeredolu said “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 response from reasonable people who know the distinction between a legitimate business that is not in anyway 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.”
He said the decision to ban open grazing in the southern region of Nigeria stays, adding that it will be enforced with vigour.