World Elephant Day 2021, so far, has been productive in Nigeria, which on the 12th of August, joined the rest of the globe to mark the day.
But it wasn’t all just celebration for the nation as the Nigeria Conservation Foundation, NCF, took time to advocate for the initiation of laws to preserve the elephant population.
The Foundation charged the Federal Government to play its role in developing vital laws that would safeguard the remaining elephant population currently in the country.
The Project Officer, Mr Shitu Usman, Finima (Bonny) Nature Park, made the call on Thursday as the body marked World Elephant Day in Ngo, Andoni Local Government Area in Rivers State.
According to Usman, the Foundation foresaw the necessity to establish the moves to protect and preserve the nation’s ecosystem, as well as ensure the wild animal habitat was protected from unguarded exploitation by elephant poachers.
He explained that wild animals in Nigeria stand as our collective heritage that can promote tourism, create employment, bring about development and grow businesses in our local settlements.
Usman pointed out that a country like Kenya is already reaping the benefits ample in ecotourism, adding that Nigeria also possesses the capacity of boosting its national economy through tourism.
Usman particularly called for the preservation of the elephants in the Andoni local area council, which according to him, sometimes wander close to residential areas.
World Elephant Day
Earlier, Mr Erastus Awortu, Chairman, Andoni local government area, represented by Mr Talick Dandison, the council’s Chief of Staff, expressed gratitude to the NCF for its initiatives.
The chairman pledged to support efforts to promote ecotourism to boost the area’s internal revenue and the nation’s GDP.
“The council will support the tourism initiative of NCF in collaboration with a non-governmental organization, Save Andoni Forest Elephant Initiative, to preserve elephants and wildlife in our forest,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Gogo Ujile, Executive Director, Save Andoni Forest Elephant Initiative, said the Foundation, in collaboration with NCF, would work to ensure the preservation of elephants and forests in the area.
Ujile said that the Foundation had met with community leaders and local hunters to sensitize them against hunting wild animals and logging.