The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media, Senator Ajibola Basiru, has asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to remove the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, from office immediately over his comments on the southern governors position on open grazing.
Malami had while appearing on a television programme on Wednesday, faulted the decision of the southern governors, saying it does not align with the provisions of the constitution.
The Attorney-General had said the decision “does not hold water” in the context of human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
“It is about constitutionality within the context of the freedoms expressed in our constitution. Can you deny the rights of a Nigerian?” he had argued.
But Basiru in a statement on Thursday, took a swipe at Malami’s statement, describing his comments as, ‘less than dignifying’ argument of equating open grazing with southerners selling spare parts in the North.”
The Senator, however, said he spoke in his personal capacity as a patriot and Senator.
He said, “It was not dignifying of the status of the Nation’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice to make such remarks.”
The Senator said equating the activities of archaic nomadic herdsmen destroying peoples means of livelihood with others legitimately carrying on businesses by selling spare parts in their shops stand logic on its head.
The Senator noted that the statement of the Attorney General was one capable of derailing the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.
He, therefore called for “the immediate removal from office of the AGF.”
He said, “Anyone who cannot rise above primordial sentiments and pursuit of parochial ethnic agenda need not occupy position of trust especially at this time of sectional agitations”.
The Senator also advised 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.
He said, “These kind of statements has made Nigeria a laughing stock in the comity of nations and in fact 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.”.
He noted that “perhaps, the Attorney General of the Federation forget that Nigeria is a federal system with the states government empowered to make and implement laws for the peace, order and good government of or any part of their respective state”.
Basiru said, “This power is derived from the Constitution, which with the Land Use Act, vested on the governors the management of all land within the territory of the state.”
He challenged the AGF to cite relevant sections of the constitution which allowed the herders to trespass on other people’s land and destroy the crops in the guise of freedom of movement adding that AGF’s comment is less than patriotic.
He observed that the quest to promote unity and prosperity of Nigeria is the utmost responsibility of government and actions of persons in authority must be seen to protect the corporate existence the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This primacy of this onerous responsibility cannot be over emphasized in the face rising tensions along ethnic/regional fault lines have damaged national unity,” he added.