National Park Services takes steps to tackle trespassers

A rare view of the Hippo lake, located in Kainji National Park, Niger state.

The Nigerian National Park Services says it is working closely with security agencies to stop trespassers from entering parks nationwide.

Making this known in Abuja, the Conservator-General of the service, Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, said the service had to take proactive steps toward stopping trespass following series of attacks on parks by suspected poachers.

The agency is enlisting the support of (military and) paramilitary agencies in intelligence gathering, anti-poaching patrols and surveillance of parks. We always ensure that, at least, we have one of the sister agencies on our team because our fire power cannot be compared to that of the army, police and civil defence.That is why we need these sister agencies. We are currently discussing with the Inspector-General of Police and the National Security Adviser to look into improving our fire power,” he stated.

We also engage communities, sensitise them and discuss with them as a way of gathering information about suspects. These suspects don’t come from heaven; they reside in these communities and the communities should know them better. So our collaboration with the community is also helping us minimize the trend.’’

Goni said the collaboration was necessary because of the incessant attacks on park rangers.

Recently a park ranger was recently shot dead by suspected poachers at the Gashaka Gumti National Park located in the eastern part of Taraba and Adamawa states near the country’s border with Cameroon.

A photograph of Gashaka Gumti National Park, North Eastern Nigeria.

Goni said that the rangers successfully made an arrest in the park, but while returning they were ambushed by unknown persons who freed the person arrested.

He said although two police officers were with the parks patrol team at the time of the ambush, the assailants succeeded in overpowering the rangers.

The rangers, who were ambushed and over powered by the assailants, had no choice but to abandon the suspect they had arrested and in the process of trying to run away from the attackers, the chief ranger fell down. That was how they killed him. His corpse was later recovered,’’ he said.

Goni also said that the police had launched an investigation with a view to bringing the killers to justice.