Abubakar Malami the AGF knew exactly what he was doing when he made that scandalous comparison in the interview with Channel TV. As a lawyer, he knows the difference between a ban on OPEN GRAZING, and a ban on the free movement of persons. But of course, this is Nigeria where everything must be politicized.
For a long time especially since the advent of this administration, the conflict between farmers and herders has assumed a genocidal dimension. People have been massacred in their numbers, raped, displaced and their lands taken over. Benue alone has had 4 televised mass burials for victims of herdsmen attack.
To make matters worse, there has been several allegations including from state governors who are sympathetic to this administration that there is an influx of armed herdsmen from other countries who are largely responsible for these crimes.
As a solution to the frequent clashes, killings and destruction of farmlands, a ban on open grazing and movement of cattle was proposed and ranching was proffered as a more reasonable and workable solution in line with best global practice. Despite all the advantages of ranching, it has been stiffly resisted by government and people like Malami for reasons best known to them.
To now come on TV and compare the sale of spare parts to the open grazing of cattle is to say the least, gravely unfortunate but not surprising. How many times have those who sell spare parts killed people because they want to establish their shops? How many times have they raped or displaced people?
Spare parts dealers most times establish their business in a particular part of any town. For example; Ladipo in Lagos and APO in Abuja. You go there and buy whatever parts you want to buy. They rent shops, buy land and even pay very heavy tax. In fact, by selling spare parts, they are saving lives that might have been lost due to faulty parts.
For the Chief law officer and the person responsible for giving the President legal advice to now make this rather dangerous comparison speaks volumes about the mindset of those currently in government. Don’t forget that the issue of the Biafra boys comment made by a senior government official is still brewing.
May Nigeria survive this historic assault.