Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General, National Park Service, has frowned at the cannibalisation of a whale washed ashore in Ijaw Kiri community waterfront in Brass, Bayelsa describing it as a dangerous thing to do.
Goni made this known on Friday in Abuja in a statement made available to the News Agency of
Nigeria by Mr Yakubu Zull, the Media Assistant to the Conservator-General.
He said the incident happened last week when a 30 feet whale was killed and people cannibalised the flesh ashore the Ijaw Kiri community waterfront in Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa.
Goni, who frowned at the feasting on the aquatic animal by indigenes of the communities, urged the relevant government agencies to cordon off the area and immediately commence the process of evacuation of the remains of the sea mammal.
He said the whale was one of the rare species of sea mammals gradually going into extinct.
“The global acceptable practice is to call the appropriate authorities to assess the condition of the helpless Whale; if it is still alive and healthy, they will help it back into its natural habitat.
“It’s a pity that the people of the community descended on the unfortunate mammal that could still be alive with all manner of cutting implements to harvest pounds and pounds of flesh from it. What a painful and brutal way of killing it,” he said.
Goni, however, offered the support of the service to the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) when required in the sanitation of the area and other areas that would help to forestall future cannibalisation of stranded animals.
“The National Park Service is all about conservation and preservation of our biodiversity and we are prepared to work with stakeholders to have a well protected and healthy biodiversity.
“Nigerians have to be sensitised against such acts and we need to carry out scientific research on such an incident.”
He appealed to the community to observe caution in the consumption of such a beached whales because the cause of the death might not be known, adding that there was need to be cautious over the possible outbreak of cholera and other waterborne diseases in the communities.
“The entire coastline area and its surrounding environment would have been polluted by now with the blood of the dead and decomposing whale.
“If the animal was dead as claimed by some quarters, eating an animal whose cause of death is unknown could have negative health implications for the consumers.
“It could have been killed by chemical poisoning, contamination or anything and (almost) definitely carry a lot of contaminants.
“The contaminants in the whale meat and blubber increase the consumers’ risk of developing some kinds of diseases like Parkinsons, hypertension and arteriosclerosis.
“Our people are still very far when it comes to issues of conservation of wild or aquatic lives, that’s why the service is doing everything possible to bring all stakeholders on board in the preservation of biodiversity campaign,’’ Goni said.
Edited by Grace Yussuf
River basin to create farm settlement in Auchi for food sufficiency
“Songhai farming is the best model of farming and I urge many Nigerians to embrace the model of agriculture from Auchi experience,” he said.
YIIFSWA, IITA sensitise 50 Edo yam farmers on new technology
The Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA ll) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Friday held a sensitisation forum on Aerophonics system of seed yam production for 50 yam farmers in Edo.
Mrs Perpetual Isiahon, Head of YIIFSWA, said that the programme was initiated to set a new tone for yam value chain in the state.
“Our task at this forum is to access the economic benefits of yam value chain, while using it as an initiative for the attainment of food security in Edo.
“The purpose of this forum is to sensitise participants on new technologies in producing seed yam and developing a better understanding of existing methods.
“It is also to expose participants to different products they can get from yam for income generation through its value chain,” she said.
Isiahon urged yam farmers in the state to key into the project and invest more on yam value chain for wealth creation.
She also called on the state government to assist in establishing new seed yam production companies in the state.
She said that a budget for yam in Edo would also encourage the production of yam.
In a speech, the Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Mr Felix Akhabue, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Joe Edionwe, said that Nigeria had a high demand for yam as a staple food.
Edionwe regretted that yam production in Nigeria was not enough to meet the growing local and export demands, hence the need for new technologies in seed yam multiplication and production.
He said that the realisation of the goal would, no doubt, facilitate wealth creation and empowerment in the yam value chain.
Akhabue pledged government’s support to collaborate with critical stakeholders to ensure that yam farmers and Edo people benefited immensely from the project.
Mr Wellington Omoragbon, state Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), commended the initiative and urged the farmers to take the message to their communities.
Omoragbon said the one-day advocacy and sensitisation forum, tagged “Sustainable production of high quality seed yam for wealth creation and empowerment”, was organised by IITA, in collaboration with Root and Tuber Division of FMARD.
1,300 rice farmers receive input for dry season farming in Delta–RIFAN
Mr Anthony Umunna, Delta Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) said that no fewer than 1,300 registered members of the association in the state have received inputs for dry season farming.
Umunna said though members received the inputs; paddy rice, herbicides, water pumps among others for the year’s dry season farming, they might not be able to plant until about September ending when the rains would have subsided.
He said that there was need for a review of the farming calendar between the northern and southern parts of Nigeria to enable timely release of inputs to farmers because of the difference in weather conditions.
According to Umunna, the quest for the release of the inputs have been on since to enable farmers in the south engage in this year’s dry season farming.
“As at today, 1,300 registered rice farmers in Delta have received paddy rice, herbicides, and water pumping machines among other inputs for 2019 dry season farming.
“In spite of our efforts, the inputs came late and as our farmers will have to wait till the end of September for the rains to subside before planting.
“This is why we are appealing to government for timely release of the inputs to enable our farmers work with the seasonal timetable and key into the dry season farming and that of the wet seasons farming appropriately,’’ he said.
He appealed to the farmers not to lose their patience as everything possible was being done by the association to ensure that all registered rice farmers benefited from the CBN-RIFAN Anchor Borrowers Scheme aimed at boosting rice production in Nigeria.
He also called on all the South-South governors to support the programme and ensure that farmers in the area got full benefits, adding that the programme would not only create jobs but also boost the economy and create wealth.
NAN reports that the programme is part of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme in Partnership with RIFAN to boost rice production in the country.
Foundation lists how youths can explore goldmine in agriculture
By Cecilia Ijuo