APC LAWMAKER ABDULLAHI ADAMU KICKS AGAINST ZONING, ANTI-OPEN GRAZING LAWS
Written by Samson Ojeniran on September 14, 2021
Ahead of the 2023 Presidential election, a federal lawmaker, Abdullahi Adamu has described it as “wishful thinking”, growing clamours for a zoning arrangement for all political positions including the Presidency in Nigeria.
Adamu who currently represents Nasarawa West on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) asked political parties in Nigeria to jettison zoning and allow merit to be their watchword as they present candidates for various political positions in the country.
Adamu stated this at a roundtable on the State of the Nation with Journalists at the National Assembly on Monday.
According to Adamu, zoning is alien to the Nigerian constitution and inimical to the principles of democracy where powers flow from the people and through the ballot box.
Adamu advised the promoters and advocates of zoning to first seek a review of the Nigerian constitution to include their zoning desires even as he questions the pattern such an arrangement will take.
Zoning” has remained quite controversial as “an unwritten gentleman agreement” at a time when Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999 and partly to calm frayed nerves in the Southwest of the country over the events of June 12, election and the eventual annulment of the exercise.
Adamu who currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture blames the current food crisis on a number of factors especially insecurity which is not unconnected to frequent clashes between herders and farmers in the country.
Despite the threat of insecurity associated with the activities of itinerant herders with southern governors banning opening grazing in their domains and a few of their northern counterparts echoing similar restrictions on cattle movements; Adamu holds firmly to his earlier position that herdsmen should be allowed to roam.
He said anti-open grazing laws and other forms of attempts to restrict the movement of herders are in violation of their fundamental human rights to freedom of movement to any part of the country; pointing out that without any support and assistance from the government it has been extremely difficult for the herder to adjust the way he plies his trade in line with the dictates of modernization.
Adamu, therefore, called on government at all levels especially the state and local governments to work out schemes aimed at assisting herdsmen to sustain their business and reduce the frictions that exist between them and farmers in the country
He said it is regrettable that the posture of some politicians over the issues of herdsmen/farmers clashes has continued to pitch the North against the South.
“It is a pity that there is such conflict between the North and the South. But such a divide did not start with my generation of politicians.
According to Adamu, the mutual suspicion that exists between Northern politicians and their southern counterparts dates back to the pre-independence era when Northern politicians dared to reject the offer of independence in 1957 saying they were not ready at the time.
He said the mutual suspicion has grown ever since and become part of their “blood”.
Editor: Paul Akhagbemhe