Nigeria

AGF: Southern governors’ grazing ban is like prohibiting spare parts trade in the North

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN,

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has likened the ban on open-grazing by southern governors with the prohibition of spare parts in the north.

Southerners are the ones dominating spare parts trade in the northern part of the country.

Responding to a question when he featured on a Channels TV programme, Malami described the action of the southerner governors as illegal.

Newsmen report that at a meeting in Asaba, Delta State Capital, last week, southern governors announced a ban on open grazing in the region.

The governors cited the rising cases of kidnapping and killings as the reason for their action.

But Malami said no Nigerian has the right to deny his fellow citizens of their rights of freedom of movement.

He said, “It is a very dangerous position for any governor in Nigeria to think that he can bring about any compromise on the freedom and livery of individuals to move around.

“Within the context of the freedoms enshrined in our constitution, can you deny a right of a Nigerian? It is as good as saying may be the Northern governors coming together to say that 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?”

“If you are talking of a constitutionally guaranteed right, the better approach to it is perhaps to go back and ensure that the constitution is amended. The freedom and liberty of movement, amongst others is established by the constitution.

“If by an inch, you want to have any compromise, the better approach is to go back to the National Assembly for open grazing to be prohibited and see whether you can have the desired support for the constitutional amendment in that respect but it is a very dangerous position for any governor in Nigeria to think that he can bring about any compromise on the freedom and liberty of individuals to move around.”

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