By Henry Okonkwo
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has described Southern governors’ ban on open grazing as an illegality and a ‘dangerous position’.
Malami said this in an interview aired on Channels Television.
The AGF likened open grazing ban to Northern governors banning spare parts trading in their own region considering the fact that Southerners in the North were majorly spare parts traders.
He said, “It is about constitutionality. Within the context of the freedom enshrined in our constitution, can you deny a right of a Nigerian? It is as good as saying maybe 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.”