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More Knocks for AGF Malami for Comparing Open Grazing with Spare Parts Sales



By Eric Elezuo

Nigerians from all walks of life have held the Minister of Justice and Attorney Generation of the Federation, Malam Abubakar Malami, accountable for his utterance against the proposed ban on open grazing by southern governors.

The Minister had said in response that banning open grazing in the south is equivalent to banning spare parts sales in the north.

The comment has since generated unsavory reactions from the members of the public as follows:


Ban on Open Grazing Has Come to Stay, Akeredolu Replies Malami

The Ondo State governor and Chairman, Southwest Governors Forum, Olakunri Rotimi Akeredolu, has lambasted the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar for comparing open grazing and sale of spare parts, saying that the ban of open grazing will not be revoked as it has come to stay.

The governor was speaking via a statement against the backdrop of comments credited to the AGF which ridiculed the meeting, last week of southern governor and comparing open grazing in the south to sale of spare parts in the north.

“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,” Akeredolu said.

Declaring Malami’s utterances as unfortunate, Akeredolu said the Chief law officer is “unable to distill issues as expected of a Senior Advocate.”

The governor further advised the AGF is seek redress in court if he is so offended with the southern governors decision to ban open grazing.

“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 Governor Forum taken in the interest of their people. We shall be most willing to meet him in Court,” he said.

The full statement:


I have just read the press statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Shehu Malami SAN on the resolution of the Southern Governors Forum to ban open grazing in their respective States. The AGF is quoted to have said that this reasoned decision, among others, is akin to banning all spare parts dealers in the Northern parts of the country and is unconstitutional.

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 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.




Resign Now, You’re Rubbishing Buhari’s Govt – Senator Tells Malami

Spokesman of the Senate, Ajibola Basiru, has said the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, is “rubbishing” the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Basiru said this in reaction to comments credited to the AGF.

On Wednesday, Malami said the resolve to ban open grazing by southern governors is equivalent to prohibiting spare parts trading in the north.

The southern governors resolved to ban open grazing last week.

In a statement on Thursday, Basiru said Malami has no business occupying the office of the AGF, adding that the responsibility to promote unity should be that of everyone.

The senator said equating the activities of nomadic herdsmen destroying peoples’ means of livelihood with others legitimately “carrying on businesses by selling spare parts in their shops stands logic on its head”.

“Anyone who cannot rise above primordial sentiments and pursue a parochial ethnic agenda need not occupy a position of trust especially at this time of sectional agitations,” he said.

“It was not dignifying of the status of the nation’s attorney-general and minister of justice to make such remarks.

“Those who have no meaningful contributions to national discourse operating on the basis of equity and justice to keep quiet and stop rubbishing the Buhari-led APC government.

“These kind of statements have made Nigeria a laughing stock in the comity of Nations and they ridicule the administration of President Buhari. These statements are not giving hope to those at the receiving end of the activities of the herdsmen.”


Malami’s Comment Divisive, Exposes a Dangerous Mindset – Abaribe


Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has said that the comment by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, on spare parts trade exposes a “dangerous mindset” that promotes division.

Abaribe was reacting to Malami’s comments on the resolve to ban open grazing in the south, which the AGF said is equivalent to prohibiting spare parts trading in the north.

The AGF made the comment when he appeared on a Channels Television programme on Wednesday.

In a statement on Thursday, the senate minority leader said there is no correlation between spare parts sellers in a rented shop, and those involved in open grazing.

“What’s the correlation between spare parts sellers in a rented shop or government properly designated area and marauding Fulani herders destroying farms, killing and raping thus trampling on people’s private properties and means of livelihood?” Uchenna Awom, his media aide, quoted Abaribe as saying.

“Such a divisive statement from a top federal government official, in fact, the chief legal adviser to the federal government at that, exposes a very dangerous mindset.

“This disposition has, no doubt, raised the tension in Nigeria to a frightening level. Why should an attorney-general of the federation be so fixated on evoking ethnic/regional fault lines when duty calls for him to be a statesman.

“It is disheartening that Mr Abubakar Malami has chosen to debase our country. He has indeed questioned Nigeria’s unity. Very unfortunate.”


Is it a Crime to be Igbo in Nigeria? Fani-Kayode Fires at Malami

Following the controversial comments credited to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Malam Abubakar Malami, a former Minister of Aviation and PDP chieftain, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has lent his voice to the avalanche of criticisms trailing the Minister.

The AGF while fielding on a live television programme, had compared open grazing in the south to sale of spare parts in the north.

Taking to his twitter handle Fani-Kayode asked if it was a crime to be Igbo, saying it was inherently racist to compare spare part dealers to killer herdsmen.

He wrote:

“It is totally unacceptable and deeply and inherently racist to compare spare part dealers to killer herdsmen.

“Permit me to ask: is it a CRIME to be Igbo in Nigeria? We killed millions of them (including their children) over the last 61 years. We terrorised them.

“We traumatised them. We insulted them. We denied them. We deprived them. We dehumanised them.

“We mocked them. We criminalised them. We marginalised them. We humiliated them. We forced them to stay when they wanted to leave.

“We caged them. We broke them. We cheated them. It is ungodly. It is evil! It is totally and completely unacceptable.

“It erroneously depicts us as a nation of unrepentant barbarians, savages and sadists that have no sense of justice or decency and that is NOT who or what we are as a people! We are far better than that!

“As long as we have this utterly racist, bigoted, shameless and self-deprecating mindset about our Igbo compatriots and fellow human beings things cannot go well for us as a people and as a nation. This is the bitter truth”.

Freedom of Movement is for Human Beings, Not Cattle and Sheep – Mike Ozekhome

Chief Mike Ozekhome

The Northern elites, including the Hon Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, miss the point sorely when they compare Igbo peaceful spare-parts dealers who go about their normal spare parts business legitimately, (building or renting their shops), with savage, maniacal AK-47-wielding herdsmen. Igbo traders do not kill or attack Northerners with their stock of motor-tyres, rims, spanners or chasis. They do not pour petrol from fuel tanks that they sell, on Fulani herdsmen. They do not use car bumpers or wind shields to smash the heads of herdsmen.

How does open and street grazing of cows by fully armed foot-patrolling youth which is now clearly anachronistic, diluvian, primitive and antiquated, be likened to legitimate spare parts business being carried out in shops or designated areas, with the Igbo traders paying tenement rate, taxes, water electricity and light bills? Have you ever heard of any herder paying tax? How do you equate spare parts dealers with mindless violence unleashed on poor helpless and hapless farmers in their own farms, and destruction of their crops with reckless abandon by these rampaging nomadic pastoralists who are on a mission of conquest and expansionism?

How do you compare apples with oranges, by equating Igbo spare parts dealers (who maintain log books, cash books, and accounting systems in their secluded and approved environments of peace and tranquility), with rampaging fully armed murderous bandits (passing for headers), who unleash terror and mayhem on innocent citizens? These open grazers kidnap travelers on the way, invade homes, rape mothers and their daughters and slash people’s throats, unprovoked, unmolested and undisturbed? Do Igbo traders overrun Northerners or Fulanis in their homes? Is it not the spaces legally allotted to them by the Federal Government, Local Governments, cities or MDAs, that they legitimately and quietly operate from?

How do armed herders who freely trespass on people lands, destroy their crops and other means of livelihood, and slaughter them, compare with peaceful traders plying their legitimate business? Do spare parts dealers pose security threat to their host, or anyone else? The Igbos do not foist any pre-determined supremacist hegemony and irredentism agenda or other races as the herders (many of them from neighbouring countries) are currently doing.

Freedom of movement is only for human beings. It is not for cattle, sheep and goats. Will the Northerners tolerate the open sale of alcoholic beverages in their States, even though it is the constitutional right of other ethnic groups to move about and sell beverages of their choice.

Are these Northern elites seriously arguing that Southern State Governors cannot ban open grazing in their states, to protect their innocent citizens from deadly killer herdsmen?

The freedom of movement guaranteed in section 41 of the Constitution (though for human beings, not animals), is not even absolute at all. Section 45 is pretty straightforward as regards derogation from section 41. It provides:

“(1) Nothing in sections 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 of this Constitution shall invaluidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society:

(a) in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or
(b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.”

Thus, the right to movement in section 42 of the Constitution can be overridden by section 45 of the Constitution which allows any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health. Considering the incessant cases of Boko Haram killings, maiming, stealing, kidnappings, rape, armed banditry and robbery foisted on the Southern part of the country, Southern leaders have rightly taken it upon themselves to put in place laws and measures that will protect their citizens. To this end, it is safe to assert that individual rights to movement have not in anyway been violated by the various states’ anti-grazing laws because the laws were enacted in the interest of public safety, public order, public defence and public morality. The laws of and declaration by the Southern Governors are also to protect the peace, privacy and homes of Southerners as highlighted in section 37 of the 1999 Constitution. They are also for the “purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons”.


You Are Wrong, Malami – Femi Falana

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. ( 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. 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. 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. 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. /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.” ( 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.


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Fuel Subsidy Removal: FG, Labour Meeting Ends in Deadlock




Talks between the Federal Government and organised labour over the removal of fuel subsidy ended in a deadlock on Wednesday as they failed to reach a consensus following the hike in petrol pump prices to over N700 from N195 per litre by oil marketers.

The hours-long meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa was to, among other things, prevent a labour crisis following the recent increase in the petrol pump price occasioned by the discontinuance of petroleum subsidy.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited said it had adjusted the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit to reflect the market realities. The agency, however, failed to state the new prices of petrol.

However, several retails outlets sold the product between 600 and N800 in Lagos, Abuja , Ogun and some other states.

The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, pointed out that the hike in the cost of PMS would trigger galloping inflation in the country, stressing that some outlets in the South-East were currently dispensing the product at N1,200/l.

Ukadike stated, “Once NNPCL retail stations have adjusted their pumps to reflect the new price, there is nothing you can do about it; that is the new price. As I speak with you, all of them are now selling at the new prices. The situation is so bad, that somewhere in Ebonyi State our members informed us that it is now N1,200/litre.

“We thought the President would remove the subsidy through a seamless means because the source of this petrol is the NNPCL. They are the ones subsidising petroleum products, they are the people who use their revenue to subsidise this product.’’

The IPMAN spokesperson expressed worry over the rate of increase in inflation and hardship that would come as a result of the latest hike in petrol price.

“This hike in petrol price will definitely lead to galloping inflation and will worsen the hardship already being faced by the Nigerian masses. It is not something to cheer about. It came as a surprise and in the coming days, we will see the very harsh ripple effects,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Ukadike has called on the Federal Government and the NNPCL to give other marketers the opportunity to start importing petrol in order to create competition in the sector.

“The NNPCL is importing and has not given people the opportunity to join them in importing so as to see whether private sector operators can import the product cheaper or not. So there is no competition. In a deregulated regime, there must be competition, everyone with capacity should be allowed to import,” the IPMAN official stated.

When asked whether other marketers could resume imports since the government had finally deregulated petrol prices, Ukadike replied, “Marketers can import, but let me tell you some of the factors militating against this. The first is that there won’t be availability of dollars.

“You will source your dollar from the parallel market and if you are not careful in doing this, and you go into the importation of petroleum products, you might not ‘come out of it alive’ at the end of the day.

“So what we are saying is that those advantages that NNPCL has, should be shared with other major importers of petroleum products. If it is through crude buy-back, they should let us know so that independent players such as IPMAN members can come together and be able to use it in the buy-back model.’’

He added, “For independent marketers, the most important thing is that there should be availability of petroleum products, and the government should open up the space for importers and investors to come in.”

NNPCL, the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria for several years running, confirmed the hike in petrol price in a statement and a new pricing template released to marketers nationwide.

But the move has sparked a groundswell of anger across the nation with the Nigeria Labour Congress demanding an immediate reversal of the decision.

The union also said it would hold an emergency meeting on Friday on the fuel price increase which had triggered hoarding and scarcity across the country with attendant rise in transport fares, goods and services.

The fuel price hike by the oil firm is coming 72 hours after President Bola Tinubu declared in his inaugural address on Monday that the subsidy regime had ended.

To pacify the growing anger over the situation, the FG hastily summoned some labour leaders to a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday evening.

The meeting had in attendance the NLC President, Joe Ajaero and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Festus Osifo, former NLC President and immediate past governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, and others, however, ended in a deadlock as the labour and government teams failed to reach a consensus.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Joe Ajaero, said “As far as labour is concerned, we didn’t have a consensus in this meeting.”

He faulted the NNPCL over an official release published hours earlier reviewing the petrol pump price in its filling stations nationwide.

He said the move puts the labour unions in a difficult position on the negational table.

“That’s the principle of negotiation. You don’t put the partner, ask them to negotiate under gunpoint. The prayer of the NLC is that we go back to the status quo, negotiate, think of alternatives and all the effects and how to manage the effects this action is going to have on the people. If it is an action that must take off.

“The subsidy provision has been made up to the end of June. And before then, conscious people, labour management, and the government should be able to think of what will happen at the end of June. You don’t start it before the time,” Ajaero said.

The Punch

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Breaking: Founder, DAAR Communications, Raymond Dokpesi is Dead




By Eric Elezuo

The Founder of DAAR Communications, owners of the foremost radio and television stations in Nigeria, Raypower and African Independent Television (AIT), High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, is dead.

Reliable sources said the High Chief died while exercising on a treadmill on Monday afternoon.

The source said Dopkesi suffered a stroke some weeks ago.

Details soon…

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I Stand on Rule of Law, with Our Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, PDP, Says Dele Momodu




By Eric Elezuo

Frontline journalist and Director of Strategic Communications of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Council in the just concluded Presidential election, Chief Dele Momodu, had said that he remains a loyal member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and will always stand on the side of rule of law, and with the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Momodu made the revelations in a statement he signed himself, noting that the last election, which brought Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to power, was savagely manipulated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He praised the steps Atiku, and the presidential candidate of the Labour candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, have taken in seeking legal redress.

The statement in details:


My position on the state of our country NIGERIA is simple and straightforward. I’m a loyal member of PDP who owes absolute allegiance to Nigeria and its Rule of Law. My political party PDP and others passionately hold the view that the last Presidential election was savagely manipulated by the ruling party APC and the cases are already in courts. Nothing will make me abandon my party on the altar of convenience and profit. Win or lose, I will continue to stand on this principle without any malice or prejudice against those who think otherwise. Democracy is a game of choice and I’m resolutely standing by our candidate, the former Vice President ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR (GCON) who has taken the honorable and peaceful step of going to court to seek redress. This is the only way we can deepen our hard earned Democracy. Sacrifice is not always convenient but painful.

I salute and respect The Wazirin Adamawa and others like my dear friend and Brother, former Governor Peter Obi, the Labor Party Presidential candidate, for promoting the best tenets of Democracy in Nigeria and I’m willing to encourage them rather than discourage their onerous quests…


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