Ilorin – Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali, the Vice–Chancellor(V-C), University of Ilorin (Unilorin), on Tuesday gave herdsmen encroaching on the institution’s land a seven-day ultimatum to quit.
The Vice-Chancellor gave the ultimatum at a meeting he held with the representatives of the herdsmen and other stakeholders on the campus.
He said that their presence there was a violation of the laws governing the university.
“Your activities are affecting our research works. Plants grown for research works are being destroyed, slowing down the pace of research work.
“We must ensure we do not hinder and frustrate each other, as we are members of the same society,” Ambali said.
Ambali said that the meeting was called because the institution believed in dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
“People are building permanent structures on our land. When we went round, we counted about 16 structures.
“We want to use these plots for the purpose for which the university was established, hence, the need for this meeting.”
The V-C said that the university had reached agreements with some foreign collaborators to develop the land for research purposes.
Ambali said that the illegal activities of the herdsmen on the campus would affect the over 30,000 students of the university.
He advised the herdsmen to cooperate with the institution to achieve its mission.
The vice-chancellor told them that one of the reasons for establishing the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was to cater for the needs of the herdsmen, not to be a source of conflicts in the communities.
Earlier, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services, Prof. Adedayo Abdulkareem, noted that several university farms were being destroyed by the grazing cattle.
He said that the unlawful encroachment on the institution’s landed property was worrisome to the university administration.
Abdulkareem condemned the use of chemicals by the herdsmen for illegal fishing in the institution’s waters.
The DVC described this as a dangerous development that could lead to water poisoning, as the university relied on the water for treatment and supply to the campus.
Some of the herdsmen on the occasion thanked Ambali for the matured way he handled the situation.
They promised to assist in arresting any of their members trespassing on the university’s land.
They acknowledged the destruction of farms, assuring that they would leave whenever the institution wanted them to leave.
Alhaji Baba Bello, the Daudu of Fufu, warned the herdsmen against building permanent structures on the university land, and decried the destruction of farms by the nomads.