From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The Chairman, South West Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has declared that the decision of the 17 southern governors to place a ban on open grazing in their states cannot be reversed by any authority.
The governor, in a personally signed statement, said the decision is final and will be enforced in all the states of southern Nigeria.
Reacting to a statement credited to Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami on the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum to ban open grazing in southern states, Governor Akeredolu said the decision is binding on all the states and cannot be changed.
‘The AGF was quoted to have said that this reasoned decision, among others, is akin to banning all spare parts dealers in the Northern part of the country and it is unconstitutional,’ the Ondo governor stated.
‘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 response from reasonable people who know the distinction between a legitimate business that is not in anyway 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 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 baning open grazing and decision of the Southern Governors’ 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,’ Mr Akeredolu declared.