By: Oluwatosin Iyun
A group, Nigeria Human Rights Community (NHRC), on Wednesday called on President Muhammadu Buhari and all the state governors to ban illegal exportation of wood resources.
Speaking at a joint press conference, in Lagos State leaders of the group, a coalition of 135 civil society, Comrades Adewale Adeoye, Kudu Abubakar, Taiwo Adeleye and Segun Balogun, lamented the manner at which foreign nationals invade Nigeria forest reserves to cut wood which was of economic value to the country and export them illegally.
“In the past three months, the NHRC has been receiving reports from across the country from indigenous people whose livelihood is threatened and their forest resources are at the verge of extinction.
“These communities are helpless. They face a hopeless situation. The most affected communities are in Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti. Kwara, Kogi, Lagos, Osun, Cross Rivers, Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo and Delta states,”they said.
While in the North, according to them, Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue states are the most affected States.
They identified the main actors as Chinese, Koreans and Lebanese who, according to them,”have no other job than to invade the forest, cut down the trees for export in the most ignoble, vicious and callous manners,” the group said in a statement read by Adeleye.
To this end, the group urged the Federal Government (FG) to ban activities of Chinese, Lebanese, Koreans and all foreign nationals alleged to be involved in the illegal exportation of Nigeria’s precious wood resources.
The group’s spokesperson also stressed the need for the FG to set up a probe panel and judicial commission of enquiry in all the affected states to identify, punish and sanction all the foreign interests and their collaborators involved in the illegal business.