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Nigerian Government Launches Investigation into Killing of Elephants and Migrating Eagles

Nigeria’s Federal Government has launched an investigation into the alleged killing of elephants by a local government chairman and the military.

The government is equally on a manhunt for the killers of two booted eagles that migrated all the way from Europe but met their deaths in both Kebbi and Sokoto States.

Addressing a press conference on Friday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Salako said: “The Federal Ministry of Environment, under my esteemed leadership, is launching a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic event involving the killing of the elephants by the local government chairman and the military to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions.”

He added that: “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 disclosed that: “Efforts are being made by my Ministry to retrieve the transmitters attached to these birds and return them to the researchers in Europe.”

Salako added that: “As a Ministry 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.”

He warned that: “The government will not condone any such dastardly act by any persons or communities involved. The brutal killings of these 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 our natural heritage.”

He promised that: “The Ministry will work closely with all stakeholders, including local communities, NGOs, and wildlife conservation organisations to strengthen and implement robust policies that protect our already fragile ecosystem and natural heritage. We firmly believe that by taking immediate action, we can prevent such tragic incidents from recurring and foster a culture of respect and coexistence between humans and wildlife.”

Salako added that: “The Ministry of Environment is determined to protect and preserve Nigeria’s Wildlife and the natural ecosystems. We extend our willingness to collaborate and provide expertise to develop sustainable strategies that ensure the long-term welfare of our environment.”

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

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