Buhari’s Directive To AGF To Recover Grazing Route For Herdsmen Lacks Legal Backing – J. B. Daudu (SAN)

*Says Nigeria Does Not Operate A Dictatorship Or A Totalitarian Or Fascist Government
*Advises That Herdsmen’s Children Be Exposed To Formal Education

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu, popularly referred to as JB Daudu, has said that President Buhari’s directive to the AGF to recover lands across the country under the grazing route for herders is an empty order that does not have a backing of the law.

Daudu, in an interview with the Vanguard Newspaper, said President Buhari’s word is not a law and Nigeria does not operate a dictatorial system of government

“It is an empty unenforceable order not backed by any existing law. The President is sworn on the Holy Book to uphold Nigerian laws and implement same faithfully. Incidentally and this is the truth, his word, directive, or instructions is not law and does not bind any person except it is located within the four walls of existing law.

“Be it known that this country does not operate a dictatorship or a totalitarian or fascist government, whatever may be our affinity to or antecedents from military rule. There is no need to go into the legality or otherwise of the colonial grazing routes, if they exist, vis a vis the prevailing law and the provisions of the Land Use Act. What is important is that the 1999 Constitution has drawn the boundaries in respect of governmental powers over land.” Daudu said

On the seeming face-off between the federal and state governments over grazing route, Daudu said it is a simple matter. According to him, the matter is constitutional and residual and within the legislative competence of state legislatures which the FG cannot hijack.

The Learned Silk advised that children of herdsmen be exposed to education as good life does not come from the barrel of an AK-47 rifle.

He said, “…this is a rather simple and indeed uncomplicated issue. The Nigerian Constitution puts the issue of control of land under the state governors. In reality, it is a residual matter, whose legislation is strictly guided and guarded by the Nigerian Constitution. Consequently, the Federal Government cannot ride rough-shod over communities in possession of prime land just because kinsmen of those in power would like to use their land.

“The wise thing to do in the circumstance is to accelerate the formal education of all the parties concerned in this matter. Exposing the children of herdsmen to formal education will instill into them the knowledge that living in this world and the good life does not come from the barrel of an AK-47 rifle. No matter how people are brainwashed to pursue other people’s agenda of hate, divisiveness, bitterness, prevarication and anarchy, it will only last a short time. All that is happening at the moment is very unfortunate particularly the attitude of government while these atrocities are committed in broad daylight.”

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