Home News How govts can tackle farmer/herder clashes in Nigeria – Adamawa Surveyor-General

How govts can tackle farmer/herder clashes in Nigeria – Adamawa Surveyor-General

by Nike
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The Surveyor-General, of Adamawa State, Pwavidon Simon, has said that for the persistent farmer/herder clashes which have led to the loss of several lives and properties across the country to be tackled, Governors must expand grazing routes.

He said that the grazing routes which were created over 61 years ago when the population of Nigerians and the number of cattle were very low have now been overtaken by farmers or as a result of infrastructural developments.

Simon stated this in an interview with journalists shortly after delivering a goodwill message at the opening ceremony of a three-day Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting of the National Association of Geodesy holding at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi.

He said that Nigeria is faced with climate change and global warming mainly as a result of human activities, adding that the farmers/herders crisis is just a big hype just as he called on the federal and state governments to do the needful to reduce crisis that often lead to the loss of lives and property.

“Before now, the size of a typical cattle route is 30 meters and this was done around 1963 when the population was around 55 million and very few numbers of cattles, this is 2024, imagine the influx of cattle from the sub-saharan Africa down into the hinterland looking for pasture, and look at the population of Nigeria, don’t you think we have overstretched the grazing routes?

“We need to expand it (grazing routes) in such a way that in the course of the expansion, the government will create buffers between the farms and the routes so that when the cattle strays, it will not go into the farmlands but into a grazeland, which is a buffer between the grazeland and the cattle route.

“Until you are able to map out all these things and make referencing, the meaning of referencing is so that you’ll have information so that if you’re in Dubai, Medina or any part of the world, you can query something and make pronouncements that will help to improve the well-being of the people,” he said.

While saying that Adamawa State is making conscious efforts to create clear boundaries between farms and cattle routes to prevent clashes between farmers and herders, he called on states especially in the north to visit the State to learn from it what it is doing to address these issues so they can replicate such in their states.

He said: “Adamawa is a pluralistic society with over 200 ethnic groups that have been together from time immemorial and we desire to continue as such. We want to use Adamawa as a model. Adamawa has several grazing areas. Overtime, between 1963 and now which is 61 years and counting, there are developments, settlements that have cropped up there, human corridors have been created, a lot of things have taken place.

“What do we then do? We have the green card by His Excellency, the express order to bring solutions. Presently, we are working on mapping out all the grazing reserves in such a way that we carry out statistical analysis to know what has taken place overtime. What remaining and how do we maximize that?

“Talking about the grazing routes, it is a corridor but now, considering the pressure on the grazing routes, some have been taken over by realities. Realities are physical developments, they could be farmlands, they could be structures, they could be roads, they could be rail lines that have crossed over, they need to be relocated in such a way that it will enhance the business of rearing cattle as they move across the routes.”

Proffering solutions, Simon said: “My suggestion as a State Surveyor General is this: it is one thing to have the routes, it is another thing to secure them so that you promote the well-being and inter-personal relationships as well as business and trade.

“Create a corridor and within it, designate a route that will go at least, more than 1,000 feet or 100 meters. When you have that grazing route, create a buffer from both sides of the grazing routes, create another 100 meters in the minimum and call it a grassland which the cattle can enjoy. Then outside that buffer, the farmlands can start from there. The farmer away from the buffer will not have justification to farm into the grassland which is a buffer between the corridor and the farm. And the herder who is on the move, will have that comfort, even if his cattle strays, say, up to 100 feet, which is 30 meters, you know it is still within the grazing area, he will not have infringed on anybody’s liberty and at the same time, he can withdraw his cattle to come back to the route.

“Remember, within that corridor in the grasslands, you can create surface dams so that if the cattle need water, they go and drink there and proceed. Along that corridor, you can create veterinary outpost to take care of instances of diseases they will encounter as they move here and there. We, in Adamawa, want to set an example, we will develop it and it will be an example for the north.”

Furthermore, the Surveyor General of the. Sunshine State said that Governor has embarked on massive physical infrastructural development, massive engineering structures like flyovers, the State Secretariat, among others, pointing out that geodesy enables them to carryout periodic maintenance on such structures.

“The engineers have done their bids, the local people have seen improvements and they are celebrating; we, as surveyors, who have geodesy as part of us, are looking into the future to know what the security of this legacies that have been built is. It is for us to deploy what is called deformation monitoring and deformation monitoring is one aspect of geodesy, where you take periodic monitoring in such a way that this information you are gathering, when you suspect something, you give the affected profession the information, it could a structural engineer, he’ll use that to carryout what is called maintenance.

“From time to time, if you watch the news, you’ll hear about the maintenance going on on the third mainland bridge or mighty engineering structures, it is because there is a n early warning system. The surveyor provides early warning information, even flooding, surveyors’ information can be used to predict flooding and ask people to evacuate to safer grounds,” he said.

Earlier speaking in his address during the occasion, the Geodesy National President, Prof. Timothy Idowu, said it is only through geodesy that the precise location of criminals can be traced and subdued.

He said Nigeria has the required geodetic experts to surmount the national food insecurity problem which is affecting the daily nutritional needs of households in the country.

Idowu called on the Federal Government to deploy available resources at the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation in close collaboration with security agencies to bring an end to the wanton destruction of lives and property.

Also Speaking, Surveyor Sa’idu Jahun, said the use of geoinformatics can lead to the discovery of untapped natural resources that God has endowed with for overall national development.

Jahun, a former Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, called NAG members to come up with better ideas and initiatives to meaningfully contribute to national growth and development.

Meanwhile, in an interview with journalists, the Geodesy National President lamented that not much research has been carried out in the profession attributing it to lack of political will of the government and the economic situation in the country.

The Professor of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State said: “We’ve not been allowed to carry out enough research to determine the benefits we can derive from geodesy. We have not carried out enough research probably as a result of the economic situation of the country. When you talk about a professor carrying out a research now, the professor will have to feed himself first before he can think of carrying out any research.

“If his salary is able to feed him, the next question is, will the remaining amount for f money be enough to carryout that research? That was why I told you that we’ve not been able to carry out enough research even though we would have love to. But even when the research has been carried out and the results are submitted, most of this results will always remain on the shelves, they look beautiful and they just drop them on the shelves without using them.

“But I think the eyes are opening gradually and we’ll be able to know those who will appreciate what others have done and what others are still doing so that they can make use of the results of the research carried out and apply them for the benefits of Nigerians.”

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