Felix Ikem, Nsukka
A conflict expert and Director at the Institute for Peace Studies and Social Rehabilitation, University of Abuja, Professor Danladi Atu, has called for a paradigm shift from the age old nomadic grazing to modern grazing reserves where herders could stay and feed their cattle without moving from one place to the other.
While expressing opposition to the establishment of cattle colony as earlier proposed by the Federal Government, he said grazing reserves remain the best option to end farmers-herders clashes occasioned by struggle for grazing routes.
The renowned scholar made these submissions while delivering his keynote address as guest speaker at the first alumni home coming of the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
“There are so many drivers to herdsmen crises and some of them are desertification and high pressure on land use. Until we are able to address where these drivers of the crises are, we will not get it right,” he said.
He said that grazing reserve was the lasting option because the nomadic way of grazing is no longer the practice, adding that those involved in it should be prepared to pay the costs of buying or hiring lands for herding their cattle instead of invading and destroying people’s farmlands.
“Crisis management needs quality leadership to galvanize resources and articulate the opinion of the public for proactive actions. I think we should take some steps backwards to know where we got it wrong because any step without evaluation is a worthless journey,” he posited.
In his address, Head, Department of Political Science, Dr Ifeanyichukwu Abada said UNN remains the first established institution in Black Africa to award degrees in Political Science. He stresed that the contributions of the department to the rich human resource base of Nigeria and Africa cannot be overemphasized.
The event featured fund raising for a new departmental structure and conferment of award to deserving Nigerians. Some of the awardees included Abia state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, Senator Chuka Utazi, Hon Pat Asadu, Enugu Police Commissioner, Danmallam Mohammed, Prof Daddy Hezekiah, among others.