The Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, as part of his motives towards the economic development of Egbaland and Nigeria as a whole, has called on government authorities to work harder in stopping the cutting down and burning of trees for charcoal and other domestic use
Announcing his support to the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), at the Ake Plalce today, during a visit by the Director General of NCF; Dr. Aminu Muhtari-Kano, and other officials, the Alake noted that the initiative of NCF’s project which is regreening of the nation through tree planting and agricultural rejuvenation, was a bold step which would be very useful for agricultural and agro-allied industries in Nigeria.
Oba Gbadebo was worried that in spite of government affairs to stop those felling trees in the Savannah area of Nigeria from Sokoto in the Northwest to Oke-Ogun in Oyo and Yewa in Ogun State for burning to make charcoal, the evil practice still continued.
The Alake noted that vehicles bringing charcoal from Oke-Ogun through Oke-Iho and Igbo-Ora were passing through Abeokuta to Lagos every night meaning that our eco-system was still being degraded everyday
He therefore appealed to the security agencies to do their work properly and stop turning blind eyes to those destroying our forest and good environment
The Egba Monarch also disclosed that where there were no animals, and trees were dying, the human habitation would be negatively affected.
He then implored the NCF and the government to work together in order to promote what was best for agriculture and the people, so as to attain greater economic development and healthy environment
He advised that the usage of gas should be encouraged other than charcoal from felling and burning of trees.
Speaking earlier, Senator Akin Odunsi, the leader of the delegation and a member of the National Executive Council of the NCF, expressed his gratitude to the Egba Paramount Monarch for his support for the foundation in the past, noting that traditional rulers were the best custodians of nature, which was given to us by the Almighty God, preserved by our forefathers, and now in custody of our traditional rulers.
In his speech the Director General of NCF; Dr. Aminu Muhtari-Kano, disclosed that Nigeria had lost over 60 percent of the trees she had during independence in 1960, adding that now, she is down to less than 7 percent of the original quantity.
He said it was for this reason that the foundation was focusing on planting of trees.
He further added that the Nigerian Conservation Foundation was aiming to spread awareness to the grassroots and organize educative events in every state while soliciting for support of traditional rulers; being the closest to the people, in order to implement the worthy course.
Also present at the Palace, one Mr Tunji Adewakun from Norway, who had a similar motive with the NCF, disclosed that he was ready to liaise with the foundation to assist grassroots businesses like suya and roasted plantain vendors, and market women using charcoal and firewood to divert to other smokeless sources.
He added that the new generation of Norway has taken over by showing how to manage natural resources and keep developing, which would also create more development to Nigeria if adopted
He further suggested that traditional rulers and heads of communities should visit Norway to find out how they manage to transit from oil to green energy for sustainable development.
The entourage of the Director General of NCF included: Mr. Ayodele Alamu, Dr. Joseph Onoja, Chief Akin Odunsi, and Mrs Bukola Folajin
Egba Traditional Ruler and High Chiefs present included, Oba Muftau Adisa Akindele; Olu of Oke-Odo, Princess Bisi Gbadebo, and Chief Layi Labode; Aare Baaroyin of Egbaland