The Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Hon. Abubakar Malami, has said that there is no difference if the governors in the Southern part of Nigeria resolve to ban open grazing and the governors in the North also decide to ban the sale of spare parts.
You would recall that Governors from the South of Nigeria had met in Asaba, Delta State and had resolved to prohibit open grazing and the movement of cattle by foot.
In a related development, Abubakar Malami picked holes in the resolution of the southern governors.
He stated that the resolution does not in any way align with the provisions of the Nigerian constitution.
He said “It is about constitutionality within the context of the freedoms expressed in our constitution. Can you deny the rights of a Nigerian?”
He further reiterated that, “it is as good as saying, perhaps, maybe, the northern governors coming together to say 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 constitutionally guaranteed rights, the better approach to it is to perhaps go back to ensure the constitution is amended.”
“Freedom and liberty of movement among others established by the constitution, if by an inch you want to have any compromise over it, the better approach is go back to the national assembly to say open grazing should be prohibited and see whether you can have the desired support for the constitutional amendment.”
“It is a dangerous provision for any governor in Nigeria to think he can bring any compromise on the freedom and liberty of individuals to move around.”