By Olayemi Esan
Concerned about terrorists and bandits' hideouts in some forest reserves, the National Park Service (NPS) has requested for military partnership to safeguard the reserves from criminal elements.
The Conservator General of the National Park Service (NPS), Dr Ibrahim Musa Goni expressed the readiness of the Service to partner with the armed forces when he led the management staff on a courtesy visit to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
Dr Goni stated that the NPS was established for the purpose of protecting and conserving the biodiversity in designated areas which he identified as national parks, game reserves and forest reserve.
He also applauded the armed forces for supporting the Service thus far, noting that there was need to sustain the existing synergy, by working together to tackle current security challenges facing the nation.
The CG further explained that the collaboration would touch on combat training of its personnel and logistic support to boost the Agency’s mandate of securing the forest reserves.
According to him, “these forest reserves and national parks which are approximately 1,129 square metres have become hideout for bandits and terrorists”, he added.
Welcoming the Conservator General, Gen. Irabor, represented by the Chief of Defence Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Dahiru Sanda reiterated the commitment of the Armed Forces in collaborating with the NPS.
He described the Service as a key agency in the security architecture of the nation.
He maintained that the relevant stakeholders must support the organisation towards ensuring that the forests are well protected against criminalities.
The CDS then charged the Agency on the need to dominate the nation’s forests for intelligence gathering and sharing of information with the military and other security agencies in order to checkmate every form of terror and other crimes.
In attendance were the DHQ Departmental Chiefs and Directors. Among the NPS delegation were Assistant Conservators Dr Agboola Okofiyin, Mr Yakubu Mohammed Kolo, Mr Mohammed Kabir and Mr Yakubu Haruna Zull.