- Published on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 15:54
- Written by Nakanda Iyadim
Photo below: Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke in a chat with Chairman, Anti-Deforestation Task Force in the state, Mr. Peter Jerkins (M) flanked by other members of the team when he visited the Drill Ranch conservation centre in Calabar.
Items seized during the exercise include out boat engines and chain saws.
CROSS RIVER SEIZES OVER 100 CHAIN SAWS, OTHERS FROM ILLEGAL LOGGERS
Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has said government will not stop its campaign of ridding the state of illegal loggers to save the environment from destruction.
Speaking after inspecting various items ranging from 100 chain saws, 18 out board engines for flying boats, six pumping machines and five generating sets seized from illegal loggers across the state by the Anti-Forest Deforestation Task Force, Imoke decried what he termed as the lack of respect for the environment.
The Governor who was conducted by the Chairman of the Task Force, Mr. Peter Jerkins, maintained that the state has 100 percent political will and support for the task force.
He noted that though he was aware of the challenges facing the task force, every one should try and get compliant.
He insisted on the prosecution of those involved in the illegal activity as well as land lord communities found to be supporting them.
Imoke disclosed that government will strengthen the task force and also build enabling institution to sustain it because it is looking at the issue of conservation.
The Governor urged faith-based organizations, local communities, NGOs, civil societies and the judiciary to join in the fight against illegal logging.
“Landslide and flood have overcome a lot of communities because people have no respect for their environment”, he said.
He explained that it is the duty and responsibility of every one to be involved and appealed that significant attention be paid to conservation and management of the forest.
The Chairman of the Anti Forest Deforestation Task Force, Mr. Peter Jerkins, said the haul was a seizure of some months of activities throughout the state.
Jerkins explained that each of the seized chain saw was capable of destroying thousands of trees which means that the state was losing millions of naira to illegal loggers and said more seizure will be made by the end of the year.
The chairman solicited the cooperation of every one in the state for the task force to record tremendous success as some of the seized items like canoes and trucks loaded with timber were at state police stations.
He said the seized outboard engines were used in ferrying illegal wood to neighbouring states.
On challenges, he said the task force needs the cooperation of the public and steady and consistent cooperation from security agents because the state is large and it will be a shame for it to loses its forest.
Jerkins commended Governor Imoke for his vision and courage to ensure that illegal logging is stopped in the state because if he does not protect what is unique, the state will be bare.
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