Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has christened a newly born lion cub in a wildlife park located inside Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta with his traditional name, Aremu.
Apart from adopting the cub, which is one of the three newly born cubs at the park, the former president also donated N1 million for animal’s upkeep.
Mr. Obasanjo disclosed this on Monday at the opening ceremony of the wildlife park and animal adoption event.
Another guest at the event, identified as ‘Prof. Afolabi’ also adopted another cub at the sum of N1 million.
The former president who was represented by the managing director, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL, Vitalis Ortese called on Nigerians to come to the aid of some of the endangered animal species.
He said the “name adoption of the animals in the park was aimed at recruiting individual and corporate partners who will support the park in providing the financial resources for the preservation and care of animals that are on the brink of extinction as a result of increased human activities.”
Also speaking, deputy chief coordinator, OOPL, Ayodele Aderinwale, explained the essence of introducing the wildlife park into the Library project, adding that it had been a focal point of the project since inception.
She noted that at present, some species face extinction adding that something urgent needed to be done to address the threat.
“Among the animals that are fast facing extinction is the Pangolin otherwise known as bush meat (‘eran igbe’ in Yoruba parlance). Already in China, we cannot find it anymore and they are shifting attention to Africa, particularly in Nigeria,” Olajumoke said.
‘And this is an animal that eliminates about 70 million pests in our forest annually. So, if we do not quickly address this, the pest will be available to destroy our forest too,” she said.
Olajumoke lamented that notable parks like the one in Enugu State “has been wiped out with the land sold to private developers for personal houses.”
“But, the cheery news is that while government seem to be turning away from wildlife development, people like our Baba Obasanjo is looking into the direction.”
Mrs Morenike also appealed to the government to ensure the release of a park guard at Ogba Zoo and Nature Park in Benin, Edo State, Andy Ehanire, who has been abducted since September 24 by unknown gunmen. Three policemen were also killed in the attack.
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