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The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has compared the ban on open grazing by southern governors to preventing the sale of spare parts in the north.
Malami said this in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday.
Recall that last Tuesday, southern governors met in Asaba, Delta State and resolved to ban open grazing and the movement of cattle by foot.
He claimed that the resolution on open grazing by Southern governors does not align with the constitution, adding that the decision “does not hold water”.
Malami said, “It is about constitutionality within the context of the freedoms expressed in our constitution. Can you deny the rights of a Nigerian?
“For example: it is as good as saying, perhaps, maybe, the northern governors coming together to say 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 constitutionally guaranteed rights, the better approach to it is to perhaps go back to ensure the constitution is amended
“Freedom and liberty of movement among others established by the constitution, if by an inch you want to have any compromise over it, the better approach is to go back to the national assembly to say open grazing should be prohibited and see whether you can have the desired support for the constitutional amendment.
“It is a dangerous provision for any governor in Nigeria to think he can bring any compromise on the freedom and liberty of individuals to move around.” he said.
Malami’s comments have been met with outrage and backlash on social media, with several public policy analysts saying the AGF should never have said what he said.
According to them, comparing the spare parts business to open Grazing by Fulani herdsmen is a false equivalent.