The reported killing of two stray elephants in Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno State and in Ibadan, Oyo State as well as the killing of two migratory booted eagles in Kebbi and Sokoto States, which are all endangered species are criminal. Federal Ministry of Environment has condemned the acts and will take all steps to prosecute the perpetrators. The Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Salako has said. In a statement made available to nigerianecho.com.ng, the Minister said that we all have a duty to protect and conserve our wildlife.
”We are deeply concerned about the recent illegal killings of elephants and other wildlife species across the country which involves the killing of two elephants by the military in Kala Balge, Borno State at the instance of a Local Government Chairman and the killing of another elephant by a Professor from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
”The Ministry also received similar unpleasant information on the killing of two booted eagles that migrated all the way from Europe but met their deaths in both Kebbi and Sokoto States.
”Efforts are being made by my Ministry to retrieve the transmitters attached to these birds and return them to the researchers in Europe.
”As a Ministry committed to environmental conservation and the protection of wildlife, we strongly condemn such actions that undermine the fragile balance of our ecosystem.
”The public should be aware that Nigeria is signatory to international conventions particularly the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
”The National Focal Point/Management Authority, the Scientific and the Enforcement Authorities of CITES are all domiciled in this Ministry.
”With respect to the Elephant and the eagles which are categorized as endangered species of Appendix I, hunting, capturing, possessing, trading or killing of these wild species are offences that are liable to prosecution according to the CITES regulations.
”The government will not condone any such dastardly act by any persons or communities involved.
”The brutal killings of these wildlife not only reflect a blatant disregard for the importance of wildlife preservation but also highlights the urgent need for enhanced awareness and sensitization of the public regarding the protection of our natural heritage. The Federal Ministry of Environment, under my esteemed leadership, is launching a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic event involving the killing of the elephants by the Local government Chairman and the military to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions.
Furthermore, the Ministry will ensure the sensitization of security personnel deployed in environmentally sensitive areas across the country. Such initiatives will focus on creating awareness about the significance of wildlife conservation, emphasizing the importance of non-lethal methods in conflict resolution, and promoting sustainable practices to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.
”The incident in Kala Balge LGA serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for stronger legislation and effective enforcement measures to safeguard our precious wildlife.
”The Ministry will work closely with all stakeholders, including local communities, NGOs, and wildlife conservation organizations to strengthen and implement robust policies that protect our already fragile ecosystem and natural heritage. We firmly believe that by taking immediate action, we can prevent such tragic incidents from recurring and foster a culture of respect and coexistence between humans and wildlife.
The Ministry of Environment is determined to protect and preserve Nigeria’s Wildlife and the natural ecosystems. We extend our willingness to collaborate and provide expertise to develop sustainable strategies that ensure the long-term welfare of our environment.
”This is in line with the renewed hope agenda and the eight (8) Presidential priorities anchored on sustainable use of Nigeria’s natural resources.”