The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said that decision of the Southern Governors to ban open grazing is irreversible and will be enforced.
Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Southern Governor’s Forum said they are ready to defend the legality of their decision in court.
He is reacting to the statement by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Malami during an interview on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, faulted the ban on open-grazing and said the governors do not have the right to do so.
Ondo Governor in reaction said Malami’s comparison of open grazing to auto parts trading is not only strange but also annoyingly and ‘betrays a terrible mindset.’
He stressed that the Southern Governors are “most willing to meet him in Court.’
The full statement by Ondo State Governor
OUR DECISION IS IRREVERSIBLE AND WILL BE ENFORCED
I have just read the press statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Shehu Malami SAN on the resolution of the Southern Governors Forum to ban open grazing in their respective States. The AGF is quoted to have said that this reasoned decision, among others, is akin to banning all spare parts dealers in the Northern parts of the country and is unconstitutional.
It is most unfortunate that the AGF is unable to distill issues as expected of a Senior Advocate. Nothing can be more disconcerting. This outburst should, ordinarily, not elicit a response from reasonable people who know the distinction between a legitimate business that is not in any way injurious and a certain predilection for anarchy.
Clinging to an anachronistic model of animal husbandry, which is evidently injurious to harmonious relationship between the herders and the farmers as well as the local populace, is wicked and arrogant.
Comparing this anachronism, which has led to the loss of lives, farmlands, and property, and engendered untold hardship on the host communities, with buying and selling of auto parts is not only strange. It, annoyingly, betrays a terrible mindset.
Mr Malami is advised to approach the court to challenge the legality of the Laws of the respective States banning open grazing and the decision of the Southern Governor Forum taken in the interest of their people. We shall be most willing to meet him in Court.
The decision to ban open grazing stays. It will be enforced with vigour.
ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI O AKEREDOLU, SAN
GOVERNOR, ONDO STATE.