Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has tackled the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, over his comment that the decision to ban open grazing by southern governors is unconstitutional.
Mr Akeredolu also said the decision of the governors is “irreversible.”
His response to Mr Malami was made available to journalists on Thursday morning by his spokesperson, Olabode Richard.
Mr Akeredolu wrote as the leader of the Southern Governors Forum.
He said it is most “unfortunate that the AGF is unable to distil 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,” said Mr Akeredolu, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“Clinging to an anachronistic model of animal husbandry, which is evidently injurious to the 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,” he said.
Mr Akeredolu also urged Mr Malami “to approach the court to challenge the legality of the Laws of the respective States banning open grazing and 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.”
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that Mr Malami, who spoke on Channels Television’s Politics Today Programme on Wednesday, said the decision of the governors “does not align with the provisions of the Constitution, hence it does not hold water.”
Open grazing is the archaic practice of moving ruminant animals in open fields, plains and bushes, in search of pasture or foliage.
The system, in the last few years, has triggered conflicts between host communities and migrant herders, leading to several deaths in many states.
Due to this, in some South-west states, locals are demanding the eviction of herders.