UNIVERSITY lecturer, Dr Azeez Olaniyan, has proffered solutions to the rampaging menace of Fulani herdsmen, saying security should be tightened at the borders to prevent herdsmen from other African countries from coming into Nigeria. Olaniyan, who is a political science lecturer at the Ekiti State University, stated this while delivering a paper at a one-day seminar in Enugu, yesterday. He said all herdsmen are not Nigerians and that there is need to check the influx of foreigners into the country. The university don, who also attributed the movement of cattle herders from the North to areas in the South due to climate change, said if foreign herdsmen are not checked from pouring into the country, their menace might persist. Speaking on the topic titled: “Everywhere as Grazing Land: The Pastoralist Question and Inter-Group Relations in Nigeria,’’ organised by AfriHeritage, an African Heritage Institution, Olaniyan noted that climate change had forced over 5 million among the 19.7 million cattle in the country to shift from the north to the southern part of the country. “The drying up of Lake Chad, as well as long years of drought in the upper part of the north had made it mandatory for the cattle and cattle herders to shift to the south were the land is blessed with green grass throughout the year. “Again, the issue of taking advantage of the economic prospect of the South especially in buying and consumption of beef meat is another luring incentive for the movement.
“Which I know that Lagos State alone, consume hundreds of cattle as beef meat; thus creating market and need to move towards this places,’’ he said. On the recent menace of some criminal elements using the guise of cattle rearers to commit heinous crimes, the don said that strengthening of the legal system was the only meaningful way out of the menace. “The Ekiti State model is the way to go. There must be legalization by the various state houses of assembly against this menace. “This new law would help to protect an innocent herder wrongly accused since it would go through a normal legal procedure,’’ Olaniyan added. Olaniyan said creating grazing zones by federal government fiat will not work
because states have the right to decide what is good for them like Ekiti State has done by enacting a legislation regulating grazing. Participants suggested that when the real owners of the cattle are identified, it could be easy to tackle herders menace because cattle owners would be responsible for their actions. Speaking at the occasion, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Enugu, Abia and Anambra States, Mr. Hosea Hassan Karma, said herdsmen menace would continue unless owners of cattle are identified. He said the menace is a national problem that needs concerted efforts to tackle, saying community leaders compound the problem by receiving gratification from herdsmen who in turn behave as if they have been licensed to do whatever they like.

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