A don, Dr Azeez Olaniyan, has call for legislation at state level to deal with the criminal elements that have infiltrated the herdsmen in the country, saying the Ekiti state model of tackling the herds men’s menace is the way forward.
Olaniyan, who lectures Political Science at the Ekiti State University, made the call in a paper he presented at a seminar in Enugu on Tuesday.
The seminar was organised by Africa Heritage Institution, which was former African Institute of Applied Economics, Enugu.
His paper was titled: “Everywhere as Grazing Land: The Pastoralist Question and Inter-Group Relations in Nigeria.’’
Olaniyan said that the use of the legal system was the only meaningful way out of the menace of some criminal elements using the herdsmen as cover to commit crimes.
“The Ekiti State model is the way to go; states must enact laws against this menace.
“Such law will help to protect innocent herdsmen being wrongly accused,” Olaniyan added.
The don identified effect of climate change as being responsible for the migration of the cattle herders between Northern and Southern parts of the country.
He noted that climate change had forced more than 5 million cattle, out of the 19.7 million, in the country, shift from the north to the south, especially during the dry season.
“The depleting Lake Chad and long years of drought in the upper part of the north had compelled cattle and the herdsmen to migrate towards the south, where the land is blessed with green grass throughout the year.
“The issue of taking advantage of the economic prospect of the south, especially in buying and consuming meat is another luring incentive for the movement.
“Lagos State alone consumes hundreds of cattle as meat, thus creating ready market and need for the herdsmen to move towards these places,’’ he said.