The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Gambari, has intervened in the face-off between the University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, and herdsmen who had vowed not to relocate from the university’s land. The emir has now resettled the cattle rearers.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Sulyman AbdulKareem, had, at a meeting with the herdsmen in February, told the herders that, “enough is enough,” stressing that the institution can no longer condone the destructive activities of their grazing cattle on its land, “as this is becoming too costly for the institution to bear”.
However, Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, in Kwara State, Alhaji Usman Adamu, asked the government to prevail on the authorities of the university not to evict them from their settlement on the school’s grounds.
He contended that they had settled on the land before the university was established, hence it would be impossible for them to relocate.
But speaking yesterday during the annual iftar interaction with newsmen in Ilorin, the Vice Chancellor revealed that the Emir intervened to save the day, by providing a parcel of land at a village, Opolo, in Ilorin South Local Government Area for the herdsmen in order to douse the brewing tension between the two camps.
He said, “At that first meeting, I agreed to do the bidding agreed upon by my predecessors. The lucky thing is that after media reports, I got invited to the Emir’s palace.
“I went there and I told the emir exactly what happened. I must thank him for the way he took everything.
“He said he thought we were taking care of everything on our own and not leaving anything for them to input.
“When we told him what we did, he said he had agreed to give a parcel of land in Opolo village, to these herdsmen and he will arrange what will be given to them.
“The last few times that we met the herdsmen, we thought they will live together, but they said that one group, out of the two, will have to migrate somewhere else, but the one that will stay will take the land offered by the emir.
“We pray, again, that they will not bring their cattle to the university land once they are located very close to the university: that is where we stand.”