OBASANJO RAISES ALARM OVER WILDLIFE EXTINCTION

President Olugesun Obasanjo has expressed concern over the extinction of wildlife in Nigeria as a result of human activities.

The former President was worried that unchecked human activities is destroying biodiversity, which is a threat to environment in future. Obasanjo expressed his worry when he played host to members of the Pangolin Conservation Guild of Nigeria (PCWGN), that visited him at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

“What is happening with the destruction of biodiversity is that the future is being taken away by the present and that is why it is important to preserve our future’', the former President said.

He charged government at all levels and stakeholders to stop poaching, illegal trafficking and demand for wild animals, stressing the need that biodiversity and wildlife preservation must be given the same attention climate change was given.

President Obasanjo called on concerned parties in the Pangolin Conservative Guild Nigeria to continue creating awareness on the benefits of preserving the endangered animals, and also pleaded with Nigerians to preserve wildlife animals in the country rather than destroying them.

“I was shocked to find out that it is now becoming difficult to get Pangolin. When I was growing up in the village, pangolins were everywhere. I asked what we can do to preserve them and they told me that they (pangolins) do not survive in captivity and I said I don’t believe that that is right.

“It (biodiversity) is almost as bad as climate change and it needs to be given as much attention as climate change has been given attention. Pangolin just happened to be one of other endangered animals, there are a number of others, both vegetation and animals that are disappearing fast and we should stop their disappearance because the more they disappear, the more incomplete our own life and living are.

“We have to make them survive in captivity, raise them and then send them back to the field again and repopulate our forest(s) because they are very innocuous animals. They don’t do you any harm. They are in fact, timid. I don’t believe that they don’t survive in captivity because when I was growing up, we had them, we played with them and they are delicious meat,” Obasanjo said.