3rd from left, Out-gone President of NAZAP, Dr Olajumoke Morenikeji, with the newly inaugurated executive members of NAZAP.
By Gami Tadanyigbe
The Nigerian Association of Zoological Gardens and Wildlife Parks (NAZAP), has decried the rising rate of poaching and illegal trading activities in endangered animals such as elephants, monkeys, tortoises, pangolins and other animals in Africa.
NAZAP’s outcry was conveyed in communique issued at the end of the annual general meeting and training of its members and made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.
The communique which was signed by Francis Abioye, the new President of NAZAP and other officials of the association, had the following resolutions for effective running of the organisation in collaboration with all relevant government agencies and stakeholders.
“NAZAP recognises the tremendous efforts of relevant government agencies and parastatals like the national park service, National Environmental Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).
“Others Agencies include, Nigerian conservation Foundation, Nigerian custom service, Nigerian Tourism Development Cooperation, Federal and state ministry of environment in curtailing the activities if animal traffickers.
“NAZAP condemns in strong terms all poaching and illegal trading activities in endangered animals not limited to elephants, monkeys, tortoise, pangolin etc and called for the continuous support of all stakeholders in upholding local and international conventions.
“NAZAP calls on the Federal Government to build the capacities of security agencies and parasatals and equip them accordingly to enable them meet emerging challenges in safe guarding our environment, animals and human lives alike.
“NAZAP calls on all operators in the sector to strictly adhere to both local and i internationally accepted best practices towards the attainment of SDG 2030.
“A five member advocacy committee was inaugurated to engage to engage with relevant authorities/stakeholders to address the existing gaps in the establishment, management and monitoring of zoological gardens and parks in Nigeria.’’
Also in the communiqué was that a five member accreditation committee was inaugurated alongside the ministry of environment to accredit zoological gardens and parks across the country.
More so, the communiqué said that NAZAP board of trustee was dissolved and the new executive council should nominate a new board of trustee whoa membership shall be no members of NAZAP executives.
The communiqué said a 12-member newly elected executive council was duly sworn in to direct the affairs of NAZAP for the next three years, (October 27, 2018 – October 27, 2021).
Abioye had on Oct. 27, at the inauguration of the new NAZAP executive, said there was need for the government to build the capacity of security agencies and parasatals and equip them to safeguard animals and the environment.
The newly elected executives who were sworn in are- President Mr Francis Abioye, Vice President, Mr Isa Jibril, Vice President 2, Mr Oladipo Bali, Secretary, Prince Sakiru Raji, Assistant Secretary and Mrs Omotola Jayeola.
Others are Public Relations Officer, Mr Vtalis Ortese, Treasurer, Mr Yusuf Kareem, Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Erikowa and Social Secretary, Mrs Mary Ohaegbu.
The outgoing president of the association, D Olajumoke Morenikeji, who could not hide her joy for the new executive, urged them not to relent in taking the association to the next level.
Morenikeji also disclosed the association’s core interest was to encourage environmental conservation, wild life preservation and zoological gardens in the country.
Morenikeji and Abioye
In his acceptance speech, Abioye noted that the cardinal to his tenure was the reinvention of NAZAP to ensure that the association succeeded in all ramifications.
“Our environment is made up of flora and fauna; unfortunately, we are unfriendly with these friends that Support our lives.
“Here in 21st century, we are faced with the worst form of natural disasters in world history.
“Therefore, NAZAP has inaugurated Wildlife Advocacy Group to mitigate Wildlife and human conflicts across the Nation.
“We also inaugurated the accreditation Committee to see to enthronement of best practices among relevant wildlife facilities in Nigeria,” he said.