The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has stated that it was unsurprised to hear the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Alhaji Abubakar Malami, speak out against ranching, as advocated by the Southern Governors.
According to the DAILY POST, the Southern Nigerian Governors recently banned open grazing in the area to alleviate the ongoing conflict between farmers and Fulani herders.
However, Malami, speaking on Channels Television on Wednesday, criticised the governors’ decision, claiming that it is contrary to the provisions of the constitution.
In a statement issued on Thursday, HURIWA said that it was not surprised that “a Fulani born lawyer is helping the armed herdsmen.”
“We are not surprised that the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, a Fulani born lawyer and politician, has criticised Southern governors for taking practical action to halt the rampant invasions of farms in the South by armed Fulani herdsmen,” says HURIWA. It seems that a federal Attorney General does not grasp the rules so well that he conflates animal rights and human rights.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s minister of justice is unaware that the basic human rights clauses enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution are not animal rights, which is why they are known as HUMAN RIGHTS rather than ANIMAL RIGHTS.”
In response to Malami’s argument that the ban on open grazing is equivalent to the ban on the selling of vehicle spare parts in the North, HURIWA said that the two are not comparable.
“These two things are incomparable because, while one is sold in a well-organized shopping mall by traders who pay rentals and taxes to the state government, openly grazed cows aggressively invade farmlands and have often destroyed farms.”
“That the Nigerian justice minister now speaks for armed Fulani herdsmen is a disgrace, but it is not surprising to us given our recent written exchange with the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.”