Monday Ubani, the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA- SPIDEL), has threatened to drag the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to court if they make good their threat to ban cow hide, known as Ponmo, in the country.
Recall that the Federal Government is proposing legislation to ban the consumption of ponmo in the country to revive tanneries.
Muhammad Yakubu, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), Zaria, said this in Abuja on Sunday.
Yakubu said the legislation was necessary to revive the comatose leather industry in the country.
However, Ubani in a statement issued to newsmen on Thursday, insisted that Ponmo is the common delicacy that the citizens mostly enjoy due to its affordability.
According to him, “Fish, meat and other proteins have become very expensive and thus unaffordable by the common man in Nigeria.”
He wondered why Nigerian leaders derive so much pleasure in inflicting pain and agony to the common in every aspect of governance.
Ubani queried why and how government always goes against the things the common man derives pleasure in.
The human rights lawyer said, “the truth is that ponmo remains the most constant meat-like substance in stews and soups in many kitchens, and it beats our imagination that every government in Nigeria has always planned to take away that substance from their dining tables.
“While politicians and rich Nigerians chew all manner of proteins in every of their sumptuous meals with their loved ones, they have become restless and jealous of the only thing that the common man chews while eating their meals for affliction.
“Is such government pronouncement and policy of baning ponmo fair and just.
“The health danger of ponmo is yet to be proved conclusively within the scientific Community. Besides, no Nigerian has died, and it is announced that ponmo was responsible. What are they talking about?”
Ubani advised the government to desist from the threat and ensure that such a wicked and callous policy does not see the light of the day.
“However, if they fail and refuse to abide by this free advice, they should be prepared for a prolonged legal suit that may end up in the supreme court of Nigeria on the illegal ban.
“I shall be prepared to undertake this public interest case on behalf of millions of Nigerians who consider this delicacy too palatable to be taken off their meal table, moreso, when it remains the only affordable substance that has a semblance of meat and fish while enjoying it,” he said.
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