Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem, the vice-chancellor of the University of Ilorin, has decried the destruction of the institution’s multi-million naira research and training farms by alleged herdsmen, who also reportedly poisoned the dam with chemicals.
The News Agency of Nigeria quotes the university’s weekly bulletin issued on Monday, February 12, as saying the management of the institution recently held a security meeting with the leaders of the 11 Fulani settlements on the university land.
The report said the publication quoted the vice-chancellor as saying that economic trees’ were destroyed by cattle grazing on the vast land of the institution.
The meeting was reportedly attended by representatives of law enforcement agencies comprising of the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Ekiti247: learnt that at the meeting held at the institution’s auditorium basement, Prof Abdulkareem disclosed that the university management would no longer tolerate illegal grazing of cows on its land.
The vice chancellor told the illegal settlers, who have started building permanent structures to vacate the university land in the interest of peace adding that this was coming almost a year after the tertiary authorities first issued a quit notice to the illegal settlers.
According to Abdulkareem, the university management had on April 26, 2017 handed down a seven-day ultimatum to the herdsmen encroaching on the it to quit the campus, but the notice was never complied with.
He further noted that on May 11, 2017, about 28 persons, comprising Fulani herdsmen, Yoruba and Hausa farmers, were dragged to an Ilorin Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly trespassing into the university land, destroying the school’s plantation and perpetrating other unauthorized activities on the University campus.
He explained that the accused persons were alleged to have resorted to poisoning the institution’s dam with chemicals, while also engaging in illegal felling of economic trees from which they made charcoal.
The vice chancellor warned that the university could no longer condone the destructive activities of the grazing cattle on the institution’s land, as this is becoming too costly for the institution to bear.
According to the institution’s publication, herdsmen from 11 communities took turns to speak at the meeting.
The report also said the chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Usman Adamu, told the university management that the herdsmen destroying the intitution’s farm land were not living in the community.
Ekiti247 earlier reported how Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa state said his government had put machinery in place to reclaim all designated grazing reserves that have been encroached upon in the state.
Al-Makura disclosed this at an expanded state Security Council meeting on Monday in Lafia. He attributed the incessant clashes between farmers and herders to the encroachment on grazing reserves across the state.