Ban on open grazing: Ohanaeze Ndigbo condemns AGF’s stand

From Maurice Okafor, Enugu

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has condemned the statements credited to the Attorney-General of the federation (AGF), Alhaji Abubakar Malami, on the ban on open grazing in the southern part of Nigeria, by state governors from the southern parts of the country at  Asaba, Delta state.

Media reports quoted the AGF to have described the decision as unconstitutional. 
But Ohanaeze Ndigbo in a pres statement yesterday, signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, described the statement of the AGF as “thoughtless, insidious and prejudicial”.

The press statement noted that “the statement credited to Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, where he stated that “the decision by the southern governors to ban open grazing in the southern Nigeria is unconstitutional and is like a ban on the sale of motor spare parts in the North.

“Such a remark by a chief law officer of a federation. is thoughtless, insidious and prejudicial.”

He stated that initally, the Fulani hersdmen were conscious of their trade across the South-East zone and were very apologetic when they dedtroy hosts crops. 

“But these days, they have become very violent to the extent of killing residents of their host communities, when they complain.

“A few years ago, the Fulani herdsmen became impudent and uncontrollably lionized. They would unleash their cattle on a farm and would maim and kill the owner of the farm, if he or she complained. 

“In most cases, they would violate and debauch young girls and mothers before sending them to early graves. 

“The southern governors had complained to the presidency to no avail; rather the herders were massively indulged with fire arms, AK 47, to enable them shoot at will any indigenous farmer that stood their ways. 

“The likes of the incumbent Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Bala Mohammed, were very vehement in defence of the AK 47 trigger happy Fulani herders.

“The effects of the above scenario are banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of agitation in the South. “It is generally known that to solve any problem, we first attack the cause of the problem and that is precisely what the southern governors have done. 

“They identified the cause or the essential parts of the problems in the country as emanating from the herders-farmers clash and have decided to attack the cause of the problems.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor commends the Southern governors as the true lovers of the corporate existence of Nigeria and condemns the remark by Malami as malevolent, ominous and incendiary. 

“He is a chief law officer that twists the law at will. He had in the past stated that ‘the rule of law is subservient to national security’.”Malami had also condemned the Amotekun security outfit by the South-West and so on. 

“In the words of Toyo Jimmy, Malami is a Chief Law Breaker.”Malami knows that there has never been a report of a clash between the Southern motor spare parts sellers and the indigenous Northerners. 

“The motor spare parts sellers render their services to the populace from a shop or a shade and are in no way comparable to the Fulani herders who invade farmlands, destroy crops, debauch women, maim, abduct and kill”.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo urged the Southern governors to put machinery in motion for the appropriate legal instruments to be put in place in their respective states so that the Open Grazing Law will become enforceable.  

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