Conservationist begs Nigerian govt for intervention as Chinese, others plunder Calabar forests

Conservationist begs Nigerian govt for intervention as Chinese, others plunder Calabar forests

A conservationist in Cross River State, Prince Odey Oyama, has appealed to the federal and state governments to urgently intervene in the daily plundering of the Cross River forests, especially Effi pristine forests.

He has alleged that an increasing number of undocumented Chinese were illegally carrying out illegal wood logging.

Cross River previously boasted of one of the largest forests in sub-Saharan Africa and has one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots. But wanton illegal wood logging has rubbished the claims.

In an interview, Oyama said, “Both the Federal and Cross River State governments should not stand by and let this wanton deforestation happen on their watch. We urgently need the assistance of the government to address and salvage this situation. This kind of destruction cannot take place in China…

“This is a total destruction and annihilation of our community resources and heritage.”

Oyama wondered why the authorities were yet to arrest perpetrators of the woodlogging crime, citing the Cross River State Forestry Commission Law No. 11, 2011.

He said the said law empowers the Nigerian Police to arrest illegal traders in timber forest produce, sieze, and preserve the timber and the vehicle or raft as exhibits and charge the suspects to court within 48 hours.

According to the environmentalist, these crimes have been reported to police and immigration authorities, but they appeared to have paid blind eyes to the offence, which they reportedly witnessed.

Oyama alleged that the unidentified Chinese were using the Okuni community in Ikom LGA of the State as their operational site.

Oyama claimed that the Chinese have been unable to provide information about their permits and/or concession agreements allegedly issued to them by the Forestry Commission authorising the logging of such immature trees

Attempts by DAILY POST to speak to the said Chinese proved abortive, neither would any community leaders in Effi agreed to speak on the matter.

But officials at Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Calabar said they were handling issue of the undocumented Chinese.

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TAGS: #Conservationist #begs #Nigerian #govt #intervention #Chinese #plunder #Calabar #forests


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