The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has warned the governors of the Southern region against ban on open grazing in the region.
The Minister, appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, described the position of the Southern Governors as “indeed dangerous.”
According to the Attorney General, the Governors have no right to prohibit the liberty and freedom of movement of any Nigerian, adding that their declaration was as good as northern Governors coming out to ban spare parts trading in the North.
Recall that Governors from the Southern Region had met in Asaba, Delta State to proffer solutions to increasing security issues in the country.
The Governors, as DAILY POST earlier reported, condemned open grazing and movement of cattle from the Northern Region to the South.
The governors further called for a national conference to determine national questions bothering on the nature of Nigeria’s federalism and federal character in national appointments, among other issues.
But Malami insisted that the ban on open grazing does not hold water, adding that the Governors must first approach the National Assembly to seek constitution amendments in that respect, adding that even trying to prohibit the freedom of a Nigerian with or without a constitutional backing, is a dangerous position.
“Well, it is about constitutionality. Within the context of the freedoms expressed in our constitution…enshrined in our constitution, can you deny the rights of a Nigerian? For example, 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? He said.
“Does it hold water for a northern governors to come out saying they now prohibit spear parts trading in the North? Look, if you are talking about a constitutionally guaranteed rights, it is to go back to ensure the constitution is amended.
“The freedom of movement, among others, is established in the constitution.
“If by an inch you want to have any compromise over it, the better approach is to go back to the national [and sponsor a motion for] open grazing to be prohibited and see whether you will have the desired support for constitutional amendment in that respect but it is indeed a dangerous position for any Governor in Nigeria to think that he can bring about any compromise…any compromise on the freedom and liberty and freedom of individuals to move around.”