Wild Life Society recently conferred on some distinguished Nigerians its fellows among whom are Dr. Julius Ayeni, Chief Afe Babalola, Pastor E. A. Adeboye and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai
The Poaching, bush burning, overexploitation, are the main problems facing wildlife conservation in Nigeria as it destroys wildlife habitats and threatens human life.
Prof. Eben Idowu Olayinka, Vice-Chancellor (VC), University of Ibadan (UI) made this statement during his opening speech for the 3rd annual conference of the Wild Life Association of Nigeria.
The conference which was held at the UI sought to bring solutions to the problem of forest depletion and wildlife conservation in Nigeria. The University of Ibadan is said to have the first department to study wildlife in Nigeria.
The VC condemned the laws regarding forest and wildlife stating the Nigeria Forest Act of 1937 and National Agricultural Policy of 1988 and also expressing his disdain on how seldom penalties were given to offenders of the law.
He stated that the constant and natural changes occurring in the environment may be attributed to the disappearance of some of these species however larger percentage of this species have become endangered and have been driven out of their habitats.
Speaking on the close relationship between humans and wildlife he said the fact is we are deeply dependent on these wildlife resources in various ways for instance our food, clothing and shelter even our economic activities cannot sustain without the utilization of wildlife, adding that for the human race to peacefully coexist with wildlife we should try protecting the wildlife bearing in mind that the environment which is difficult for wildlife to survive will also be the one that will have poor quality of life for man.
The VC further stated that UI is ready to make greater cooperation with higher institutions of the wildlife association especially in the technological fields providing radical transformation of wildlife management efforts in Nigeria and also across the globe.
The President of the Wild Life Association of Nigeria, President Ayodele during his speech also condemned the killing of endangered species and attack on tourists by bandits stating that he had hopes to establish security that will be effective and efficient.
Awards of honor were presented at the end of the conference to philanthropists who were recognized for their contributions to the growth and sustenance of wildlife conservation in Nigeria; among the recipients were Lieutenant- General Buratai, Dr. Julius S. O Ayeni, Chief Afe Babalola, and Pst E. A. Adeboye.