FG to investigate killing of elephants

The federal government has raised alarm on the tragic killing of elephants vowing to investigate the killings.

The Minister of State for Environment Dr Iziaq Salako made this known during a press briefing in Abuja and also preserved wildlife animals across the country.  

He said, the government will not condone such acts by any persons or communities.

Salako said, “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.”

He said efforts are made by the ministry to retrieve the transmitters attached to these birds and return them to the researchers in Europe.

The minister said the brutal killings of the 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 Nigeria’s natural heritage.

Dr Salako further explained that the ministry is 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,” Salako further said.

The minister noted that 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,” he said.

He added that the ministry is determined to protect and preserve the country’s wildlife and the natural ecosystems, while also collaborating and providing expertise to develop sustainable strategies that ensure the long-term welfare of our environment, in line with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu.