Ban on Open Grazing: Southern governors decision final, says Akeredolu

Ban on Open Grazing: Southern governors decision final, says Akeredolu

Frontliners News

The Chairman, Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, has reiterated that there is no going back on the decision taken by the southern governors on the ban on open grazing their zones.

Last week, the 17 Southern Governors had met in Asaba, Delta State, and resolved to ban open grazing in their domains, among other national demands.

The meeting of the governors tagged the “Asaba Accord” also agreed to call on President Buhari to immediately convene a national confab to address the security challenges bedeviling the country.

However, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) while appearing on the popular Channels TV “politics today” on Wednesday kicked against the decision of the governors on open grazing and liken the agreement of the governors to the banning of automobile spare parts trading in the north by Northern Governors.

Malami also noted that the move by the southern governors was unconstitutional and could further be led to a constitutional breakdown of law and order.

But in a swift reaction, Governor Akeredolu in a statement he signed and issued to journalists in Akure, the Ondo state capital on Thursday condemned the opposition of Malami on open grazing by the southern governors.

Akeredolu explained that Mr. Malami’s comparison of the open grazing with spare part was very ‘‘unfortunate’’, adding that the decision of the governors was irreversible and taken in the interest of their people.

The Governor said, “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.

“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.

“Clinging to an anachronistic model of animal husbandry, which is injurious to the 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 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 vigor.”

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