Ohanaeze Ndigbo has berated the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), over his comment on the ban on opening grazing in the Southern part of the country.
Recall that Malami on Wednesday during an interview condemned the ban by the 17 Southern governors on open grazing.
The minister said the resolve to ban open grazing in the south is equivalent to prohibiting spare parts trading in the north.
But in a statement on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze described the comment made by Malami as reckless, malevolent, and incendiary.
Ohanaeze, however, commended the Southern governors for their decision to ban open grazing in the Southern part of the country.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to the statement credited to Mr. Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice where he stated that “the decision by the Southern governors to ban open grazing in the South is unconstitutional and is like a ban on the sale of motor spare parts in the North
“Such a remark by a chief law officer of a federation is thoughtless, insidious and prejudicial.
“It is important to recall that in the glorious past, the peoples of Southern Nigerian had never had any problem with the conduct of the Fulani herdsmen.
“They would trek with their cattle unmolested, from the far North to the South, sometimes a distance of about 1000 kilometers. They would also sell the cows as they moved from one location to the other.
“To the southerners, it was always as strange as it was curious that a boy of 12 years and pregnant women would endure the harsh weather and the risks of the wild forests fending cattle.
“Only very rarely, the cattle would stray and destroy the crops in the farm and they would sincerely apologize. The apologies were taken in good faith. And, Nigeria was a country.
“A few years ago, the Fulani herdsmen became impudent and uncontrollably lionized. They would unleash their cattle on a farm and would maim and kill the owner of the farm, if he or she complained.
“In most cases, they would violate and debauch young girls and mothers before sending them to early graves.
“The Southern governors had complained to the Presidency to no avail; rather the herders were massively indulged with firearms, AK 47, to enable them to shoot at will any indigenous farmer that stood their ways.
“The likes of the incumbent Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Bala Mohammed were very vehement in defence of the AK 47 trigger happy Fulani herders.
“The effects of the above scenario are banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of agitation in the South.“It is generally known that to solve any problem, we first attack the cause of the problem and that is precisely what the Southern governors have done.
“They identified the cause or the essential parts of the problems in the country as emanating from the herders-farmers clash and have decided to attack the cause of the problems.
“Malami knows that there has never been a report of a clash between the Southern motor spare parts sellers and the indigenous Northerners.
“The motor spare parts sellers render their services to the populace from a shop or a shade and are in no way comparable to the Fulani herders who invade farmlands, destroy crops, debauch women, maim, abduct and kill.
“Ohanaeze urges the Southern governors to put machinery in motion for the appropriate legal instruments to be put in place in their respective states so that the Open Grazing Law will become enforceable,”