The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has voiced his opposition to the ban on open grazing by governors of the Southern region.
Malami, during an appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, described the position of the Southern Governors as “indeed dangerous.”
He argued that 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.
The minister 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.”