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You Are Wrong Malami, Northern Governors Banned Open Grazing before Southern Governors – Falana

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A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has countered the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN over his comment that banning of open grazing is unconstitutional.

In a statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer, Falana said right to movement under section 41 and 43 of the constitution does not cover free movement of animals to destroy farmlands.

He said, “The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN was reported yesterday to have condemned the ban on open grazing by the Southern Governors Forum. The AGF stated that the ban on open grazing is unconstitutional as it affects the right of herders to move freely in the country.

With respect, the ban on open grazing has not affected the rights of herders to move freely and acquire land in any state for the establishment of ranches in line with the provisions of sections 41 and 43 of the Constitution. Since the Constitution does not cover the right of animals to move freely and destroy farmlands it is grossly misleading to give the impression that the ban on open grazing has abrogated the right of herders to carry out their business.”

In addition, Falana explained that the Minister of Agriculture and relevant state commissioners are empowered by several laws to regulate the movement of animals

“With respect to the movement of animals in the country the Animal Diseases (Control) Act and similar laws applicable in the states have empowered the Minister of Agriculture and relevant State Commissioners to make appropriate regulations to regulate the movement of animals and prevent them from transmitting diseases.” Falana said

The Learned silk also faulted the analogy that banning of open grazing is likened to stopping of sale of spare parts. According to Falana, sellers of spare parts do not kill fellow citizens neither do they destroy properties

He said, “The AGF equally said that banning open grazing is like banning the sale of spare parts. The comparison is not applicable as the sellers of motor parts who operate in shops and markets in all states have not been accused of engaging in the killing of fellow citizens and destruction of their properties. Besides, those who sell spare parts outside their states of origin either acquire properties or pay rent for the their lawful business.”

Falana further clarified that the 36 Governors of the Federation have at various times banned open grazing. He said the first decision banning open grazing was made by the governors during National Economic Council meeting on April 27, 2018 while the second was in 2019 by the Northern Governors Forum

The statement reads in part, “However, in order to halt the incessant violent clashes between farmers and herders which had led to mindless killings and wanton destruction of properties in many parts of the country the federal government and the 36 state governments have, at various fora, banned open grazing in all states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

In view of the desperate moves of some members of the geo- political class to divide the Nigerian people along regional basis it is pertinent to draw the attention of the members of the public to the following reports:

“1. On April 27, 2018, the members of the National Economic Council resolved to ban open grazing and adopt the Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government. The National Economic Council is constituted by the Vice President, the 36 State Governors, the Minister of Finance and the Central Bank Governor. (https://m.guardian.ng/news/ne c-bans-open-grazing-as-herdsme n-attacks-persist/)

2. On February 9, 2021, the Northern Governors Forum banned open grazing in all states in Northern Nigeria. https://www.vanguardngr.com/20 21/02/insecurity-northern-gove rnors-seek-end-to-open-grazing/

3. On February 11, 2021 the Nigeria Governors Forum banned open grazing in all the 36 states of the Federation. https://thenationonlineng.net/ 36-governors-agree-to-end-noma dic-cattle-rearing/

4. On May 14, 2021 the Southern Governors Forum banned open grazing in the 17 states in Southern Nigeria. https://m.guardian.ng/news/sou thern-governors-ban-open-grazi ng-call-for-restructuring/

5. On May 18, the PDP Governors Forum endorsed the decision to ban open grazing in the entire country. http://thesouthernexaminer.com /pdp-governors-endorse-ban-on- open-grazing-p5388-214.htm

“Based on the ban on open grazing, not fewer than 24 states governments have submitted applications to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for grant to facilitate the establishment of ranches in line with the Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State has invited herders who are adversely affected by the ban on open grazing to settle down in the Ruga Settlement established by the State Government. While commission the first batch of 25 housing units out of the 200 earmarked for RUGA settlement the Governor said that his government engaged in the project for two fundamental reasons: “first and foremost is to avoid clashes between farmers and herders, secondly to avoid movement of herders which is the source of conflict and to avoid cattle rustling.” (https://www.thecable.ng/gandu je-invites-more-herders-to-kan o-as-he-inaugurates-ruga-settl ement/amp).”

Falana urged Malami to, being Attorney-General of the Federation, respect sensibilities of persons when issuing statements and should stand up for social justice

“Mr. Malami should be reminded that he is the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, in making statements he should always take due regards of the sensibilities of every part of the country and respect all legitimate interests of the entire people of the country.

The Nigerian Lawyer

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New Naira Notes: Emefiele Finally Appears Before House of Reps

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has finally appeared before the House of Representatives which summoned him over the crisis caused by the redesign of some naira notes and the exchange of old naira notes with new ones by the populace.

Emefiele is appearing before the ad hoc committee set up by the House to investigate the crisis, which is chaired by Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, was to issue a warrant for Emefiele’s arrest over his repeated failures to answer at least four summons from the House.

The House had shelved its plan to go on break for the presidential and National Assembly elections, which was to commence on Thursday, over the CBN governor’s failure to answer the last summons issued to him by the committee.

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Protesting Youths Attack, Haul Stones at Buhari’s Convoy in Kano

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Despite assurances given by Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, some angry youths in the state, on Monday, hauled stones at the advance convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari, during an official visit to Kano.

Security had been beefed up across the Kano metropolis as the President visited the state to inaugurate eight development projects.

The President arrived at the Aminu Kano International airport in the morning and from there, he was conveyed by helicopter to the palace of the Emir of Kano, Aminu Bayero.

However, in spite of the heavy security presence mounted on the routes leading to Ahmadu Bello Way where the President was to launch Galaxy Backbone Limited’s project, angry youths holding stones of various sizes and wielding sticks reportedly attacked Buhari’s convoy and helicopter as it hovered above them.

Videos circulated on social media showed the moment the irate youths pelted stones at the helicopter believed to be conveying the President.

One video showed citizens angrily struggling with some unidentified security agents while a convoy made its way through their midst.

Another video showed a road littered with stones while teargas canisters were being fired to disperse the angry mob.

The Punch observed as the protesting youths shouted “ba ma yi” (down with you) and ran helter-skelter to avoid being caught by heavily armed security operatives who provided security for the President and his convoy.

Besides Hotoro and a few other projects that were inaugurated, the President’s chopper was parked at the Emir’s palace, from where he proceeded to Kumbotso Local Government to inaugurate the 10 megawatts solar power projects.

However, the President’s trip to Kumbotso did not record any attack by any mob, as he was sandwiched by security operatives, who comprised heavily armed soldiers aboard motorised Toyota Hilux and was also supported by armed mobile police special forces.

The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, had recently in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, asked Buhari to postpone his planned trip to inaugurate some projects in the state.

Ganduje said in the statement that the naira redesign and January 31 deadline for old notes had brought hardship on residents of the state, adding that the development made people angry.

“Deeply concerned with the hardship caused by the limited time given for halting the use of old naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and for security reasons, Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje reveals that the state resolved and wrote to the presidency that the visit of the president to commission some projects to be postponed,”  the statement said in part.

However, Ganduje, while speaking to journalists after a meeting with Buhari in Katsina, expressed readiness to receive the president to commission the projects in the state.

“We are very much ready to receive him and we have a lot for him to commission, including Federal Government projects and state government projects. They are state-of-the-art projects,” Ganduje said.

Prior to the Ganduje episode, angry youths had attacked government officials when the President visited his home state in Katsina to inaugurate some projects on Thursday.

The youths were said to have staged the protest to express their anger against the hardship being experienced in the country.

The situation reportedly degenerated when the youths started throwing stones, causing a commotion that created tension in the area.

The Punch

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NNPP Zonal Secretary Dumps Kwankwaso, Embraces Atiku

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The former North-East Zonal Secretary of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, Dr. Babayo Liman, on Sunday, said the NNPP and its presidential candidate, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, lacked the structure and capacity to rule Nigeria.

Liman who disclosed this in Jalingo, Taraba State, while addressing his supporters at a press conference, said he defected to the Peoples Democratic Party to help Atiku Abubakar win the February 25 presidential election.

“The NNPP lacks the structure to win elections. I have seen PDP as a vehicle to deliver Nigeria from the numerous challenges facing citizens. The PDP and Atiku have a structure that can win elections.

“Atiku was part of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government that recorded numerous achievements. For instance, during the PDP administration, insecurity was only in three states, now it’s everywhere. Poverty was not this much, that’s why I am following Atiku.

“Kwankwaso has proven that he can’t address the needs and yearnings of Nigerians. If he cannot handle the internal crisis in the NNPP with only 30 executives, how can he handle Nigeria with over 200 million people?

“Even among the executives, only four of us were active, the remaining members were ghosts and we never saw them, so how can such a party win elections?” he queried.

The former NNPP chieftain said as part of traditions, it was necessary for him to inform his supporters of his defection and his next move.

When asked about when he discovered that the NNPP and Kwankwaso were not the solutions to Nigeria, Liman said Kwankwaso lured them into the NNPP because of their popularity and support base in the region, but his inability to solve internal issues of the party was a clear indication that he was not ready to rule Nigeria.

The Punch

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