By: Joy Odorl Kaduna
Retired Air-vice Marshal Bashir Gamagira has charged Nigerians who are in the business of felling trees and convert them to woods or used for energy purposes to ensure that they plant more.
Retired Air-Vice Marshal Gamagira who is the Chairman of a Non-Governmental Organization ‘Koriyar Kasa initiative made the call at the commemoration of 2018 International Forestry Day at Teku International Farm in Mando, Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria on Thursday.
He explained that due to the rapid deforestation experienced in the north, he founded the ‘Koriyar Kasa’ Initiative aimed at checkmating rapid deforestation in Gamagira, saying threats of desertification are real in northern Nigeria.
The Chairman informed that he produces about 10,000 trees and seedlings and made available to Kaduna citizens for free but they have refused to engage in tree planting exercise.
“Gamagira village situated between Pambegwa and Maraban Jos in Igabi Local Government Area of the state which formerly was a highly forested area but today is fast becoming a barren land.
“Before, the Pambegwa and Marahban axis used to be highly forested but today, there is virtually no forest on that road, the land is fast becoming barren. This is due to heavy deforestation caused by human activities.
“I produce 10,000 trees and seedlings and made available to the people for planting. But the problem is the people do not want to engage in tree planting exercise, rather they want me to plant trees for them. This is the challenge now” he said.
Retired Air-Vice Marshal Gamagira appealed to traditional leaders to support the initiative and ensure that their subjects imbibed the culture of planting trees.
He also advised that government both at states and federal levels should enforce a law, that anyone erecting a structure must make provisions for tree planting within such premises.
Also contributing at the occasion, the State Co-ordinator of Seed Poverty Eradication Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society (FEHDON), Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Musa said it is only the government that can declare war on desertification but however pointed out that government do give approved certificate to people who clear the forest but there is no standing order or rules for them to replant the trees felled.
The Co-ordinator enjoined rural dwellers and urban centers to ensure they make provision for a tree within their vicinities, stressing that the important of trees cannot be overemphasized.