Chief Edwin Clark, an Ijaw national leader, says President Muhammadu Buhari’s insistence on open grazing is “unpatriotic and unacceptable”.
The Ijaw leader argued that the Land Use Act vested land ownership in states on governors.
Recall that issue of open grazing has dominated the discourse on Nigeria’s political space, following the incessant clashes between farmers and herders.
Besides, southern governors had in May resolved to ban open grazing in their region.
The decision did not go down well with Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, who argued that the ban on open grazing is against the freedom of movement enshrined in the 1999 constitution (as amended).
Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari, while responding to questions on Arise TV on the position of southern governors and AGF’s stance, said he has asked the AGF to recover lands meant for grazing routes as stipulated in the first republic gazette.
Speaking on the development, Clark, in a statement, warned Malami against “misleading and misdirecting” the president, adding that the office of the AGF is expected to be “independent of parochial and unconstitutional government decisions”.
He noted that one of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference is that the office of the AGF should be separated from that of the minister of justice.
“I repeat, on behalf of southerners, that open grazing has been finally buried in southern Nigeria. For Mr. President to insist that open grazing should continue whereby he asked the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, to dig out the gazette that approved open grazing in the First Republic is unbelievable, unpatriotic and unacceptable to our people,” he said
“Mr. President should regard himself as President of one Nigeria, and not as President of the Fulanis or the Northerners. We shall resist, at all cost, any attempt to subjugate us as citizens of one Nigeria.