Senate spokesman, Ajibola Basiru has called for the immediate sack of Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister over his comment condemning the ban on openb grazing by the 17 southern Nigeria governors.
Malami didn’t just stop at his position, but compared the ban on nomadic herders who have been linked with multiple crimes or murder, arson, rape, destruction of the livelihood of farmers with motorp spare parts dealers in the north.
Malami had said in the interview with Channels TV that the ban by the governors is akin to the governors of the north banning southerners from motor spare parts business in the north.
He even affirmed that the northern governors can place such a ban.
Senator Basiru accused the AGF of pursuing a parochial, ethnic agenda, and not worthy to occupy such a position of trust.
In a statement he signed, the senator representing Osun Central described Malami’s statement as ‘less than dignifying.’
The comment, he said, “was not dignifying of the status of the nation’s attorney-general and minister of justice.”
Your comment is shameful -Senate spokesman, Basiru
The Senate spokesman, also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said: “Equating the activities of archaic nomadic herdsmen destroying peoples means of livelihood with others legitimately carrying on businesses by selling spare parts in their shops stands logic on its head.”
He noted that, perhaps, the AGF had forgotten that Nigeria is a federal system with the state governments empowered to make and implement laws for the peace, order and good government of, or any part of their respective states. This power is derived from the Constitution which, along with the Land Use Act, vests on the governors the management of all land within the territory of the state.
Challenging the AGF to cite relevant sections of the constitution which empower herders to trespass on other people’s land and destroy their crops in the guise of freedom of movement, Senator Basiru described the AGF’s comment as “less than patriotic and capable of derailing the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.”
The senator, therefore, advised those who had no meaningful contributions to national discourse to keep quiet and stop rubbishing the Buhari-led APC government.
“These kinds of statements have made Nigeria a laughing stock in the comity of nations and, in fact, they ridicule the administration of President Buhari. These statements are not giving hope to those at the receiving end of the activities of the herdsmen,” Basiru insisted.
Your ethnic fixation is sickening -Abaribe
Speaking in similar vein, the Senate minority leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, described the AGF’s comments as divisive and unfortunate.
“While the local “bureau de change” business mostly done by the Fulani are operating in all parts of Nigeria, why have they not elicited any resentment of other Nigerians?
“It is simply because they live and do their business peacefully without causing any problem. It is the murderous activities of Fulani herders that have given rise to the current demand for laws that will bring about peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians,” Abaribe said through his media adviser, Uchenna Awom.
“What’s the correlation between spare parts sellers in a rented shop or government properly designated area and marauding Fulani herders destroying farms, killing, raping and trampling on people’s private property and means of livelihood?
“Such a divisive statement from a top federal government official, in fact, the chief legal adviser to the federal government at that, exposes a very dangerous mindset. This disposition has no doubt raised the tension in Nigeria to a frightening level.
“Why should an attorney general of the federation be so fixated in evoking ethnic/regional fault lines when duty calls for him to be a statesman? It is disheartening that Mr Abubakar Malami has chosen to debase our country. He has indeed questioned Nigeria’s unity; it’s very unfortunate”, Senator Abaribe said.
Also, the Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has said it is a fallacy and an irredeemable illogicality for the minister of justice, Malami, to compare open grazing of cows in the South to selling of vehicle spare parts in the North.
“These two items are incomparable because whilst one is sold in an organised shopping mall by traders who pay rents and taxes to state governments, cows that are openly grazed violently invade farmlands and have often caused destructions to farms,” HURIWA said through its leader, Emmanuel Onwubiko.
Meanwhile, Southern governors have said that there is no going back on their decision banning open grazing, insisting it is irreversible and will be enforced.
Malami is not fit for his job, says Afenifere
The Pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has lashed out at Abubakar Malami (SAN) over his comment on Southern Governor’s Forum ban of open grazing, saying he is unfit for the office of an attorney general and minister of justice.
Afenifere said the AGF always allowed his sectarian disposition to cloud his eminent qualifications.
The group stated this through its secretary-general, Sola Ebiseni, yesterday in Akure, following his statement on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.
Malami had during the programme attacked southern governors over their decision to ban open grazing in their states.
But the group, while replying to him, said his sectarian and emotional vituperations did not come to discerning Nigerians as a surprise.
Afenifere noted that the attorney general is mischievously playing the role of an agent provocateur when he was inciting Northern Governors to place a ban on spare parts trading in which southerners are involved.
The group noted that each time Malami perceived a threat to the interests of Fulani herdsmen, he was quick to latch on to constitutional provisions which are not relevant to the object of discourse.
According to the group, “Malami does not want serious-minded people to accord him and his high office respect each time he accepts to play the roles of errand boy and spokesperson of the Miyetti Allah and their herder’s members.
“He was readily on hand to vehemently denounce the Amotekun South West regional security initiative as being targeted against Fulani herdsmen and so declared it unconstitutional.
“When challenged to approach the Court, he had since developed cold feet. Contrary to his latest vituperations, the ban on open grazing and movement of animals by foot is not a denial of “freedom and liberty of movement” and does not require the slightest touch of the constitution for the governor to pronounce.
“For the attention of Malami, most of the states already have laws banning open grazing and the pronouncement of the governors was merely to give effect to existing law.
“It is the animal that is being prohibited from grazing openly and being moved by foot, except Malami intends to extend the inalienable human rights in the constitution to animals in the defence of a culture which values cattle more than human beings.
“It is the same primitive mindset of which the Buhari administration has threatened the governor of Benue State that he would have no place except he allowed a free reign of animals.
“We in the Afenifere support the resolutions of the Southern Governors banning open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in our territory. Those who can cope with the destruction of farmlands and produce by animals and are also permissive of criminality by terrorist herdsmen are free to open their vast lands for such purposes.
“Nigeria will only exist and thrive on the terms agreeable by all its constituent nationalities. Officials of the federal government should be advised that their jaundiced sectarian views are eloquent testimony that the Buhari administration has lost the confidence of the generality of Nigerians,” Afenifere said.
With agency reports from Leadership