Nigeria has spent millions of Dollars acquiring Satellites under the aegis of the National Space Research and Development Agency( NASRDA) but how have these satellites been deployed bearing in mind the security situation in Nigeria? On Pages 39 to 43 of the Book, titled, Nigeria’s Space Journey (NSJ) by Adigun Abiodun we learn how satellites can be used for Peacemaking and Peace Keeping in Africa.
On page 42 Adigun Abiodun particularly writes on the Herdsmen -Farmers conflict in Nigeria. He states”. … by using the capabilities of earth observation satellites, appropriate and regulated solutions can be found for the herdsmen and the communities concerned.
In the case of Nigeria, for example, both the federal and state governments should work together and use satellite acquired data to generate maps of land use practices within their jurisdictions. Such Maps should be used to regulate pastoral activities within these jurisdictions…”
Beyond herdsmen Farmers -Conflict Adigun Abiodun in NSJ reveals that Satellites can be deployed for peacekeeping and Peacemaking to:
(a) Identify sources of conflict before they develop into major crisis
(b) Monitor and verify compliance with terms of agreement arrived at by combatants
(c) Locate buried land mines and subsequently de-mine the entire African landscape
(d) monitor and identify mobile units and terrorists that transfer firearms across border
(e) track movements of refugees fleeing from conflict zones so as to locate them as well as provide them with essential support
(f)resolve the conflict that often develops among contiguous states that share water resources of the same drainage basin
(g)arrest the depletion of Africas living and non living resources both on land and on the oceans around the continent
(h) arrest the degradation of Africas marine environment and landscape.
From all these you would see that NSJ is a book with a Nigerian and African Flavour. The contents are very related and relevant to Africa. Its not an attempt to transplant some western world view on Nigeria or Africa.
Well I think the Book, NSJ which is borne out of over 40 years working in the Space industry should perhaps have been titled” Trials and Travails of a Space Technocrat: A Nigerian Experience” because it is in a large part about a Nigerian returning home with good intentions,frustrated along the way and having his programmes or ideas hijacked.
This is a Book to be read by all the leaders of the political parties. NSJ is not a Book as could be expected of a Nigerian attempt to land on the Moon or even on Planet Mars. it is about how Space science and technology can affect the life of the common man for good and for prosperity.
DR Adigun Abiodun served as the Chairman of the United Nations Committteee on the peaceful use of Outerspace. He is the founder of the Africa Space foundation.
Written by Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth, Freelance Writer, London, England.