To, therefore, call NPS into account on Yankari is not only highly misplaced but an attempt by the hawks in their takeover bid of NPS to rubbish the creative and patriotic zeal of NPS management and its marginalised workforce. Whatever befell Yankari today should be laid at the foot of Adamu Muazu. It was Muazu that went to the National Assembly and got the Senator Effiong Bob committee on environment to revisit the NPS and pull Yankari out of federal hands.
Thank God Senator Effiong Bob is still alive and can attest to my frontal and vocal voice at the Yankari takeover hearing at the National Assembly in May 2005 to which I have a documented 13 page position paper against this negative and misplaced Bauchi State government request.
Nigerians indeed have short memories for another group of campaigners of “Save National Parks” to rise again at this time of leadership vacancy in NPS, in pretence to have better managerial solutions than the time tested professionals in the system shows the “Muazuists” at work again.
Honestly, I need not only report that Yankari was badly affected by Adamu Muazu’s safari project. This also rubbed off negatively on brought Nigeria’s image before World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other notable benefactors of nature conservation, which consequently withdrew support to Nigeria conservation efforts with the global ranking of Yankari and other Parks affected.
And because Nigeria has oil, no one cared to agitate and bring Adamu Muazu and the National Assembly to account for this betrayal of our national interest to conserve our flora, fauna and marine ecosystems for generations yet unborn.
Interestingly, the bane of Yankari today holds no example in Cross – River, Kaduna, Adamawa/Taraba, Edo, Niger, Oyo and Bornu where other viable Parks are located and to which the states concerned have become veritable partners to the glory of Nigerian conservation efforts. If Adamu Muazu has taken his pet Safari dream to lame Bura or Malla Lumba Game Reserves, all in Bauchi and upgraded them, Yankari would still be thriving today and Bauchi, a veritable nature tourism destination in Africa.
NPS, NGO’S/Research Collaborations
As national laboratory of genetic resources, it is certainly not out of place for NPS to collaborate with research institutions and non-governmental organisations locally and worldwide to bring in fresh approach to nature resources conservation.
It is indeed wicked to say the least for anyone to suggest or trade off NPS as an agency of government with an anti-collaborative mentality. Honestly, to say that NPS did not key into the global dynamics of nature conservation is one big lie. To also allude anywhere that the agency is a cesspit of failure on account of unsubstantiated conclusions further reveals the hatred against NPS’ well documented contribution to national economic and social advancement.
Yes, one may fault the “silence” and less than average publicity of NPS activities in the discharge of its operational national mandate, however, this does not mean NPS is not working. From the era of Lawan Marguba till date, NPS has clearly set its eyes on collaboration with notable and not too fancied NGOs, including local and foreign institutions of learning.
Specifically, NPS opened its doors to Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Gashaka Primate Project, European Union, AP Leventis, Kunming Institute of Zoology, China, Nigeria Montane Forest, German Technical Corporation, Savannah Conservation, Chester zoo of University of London, Wildlife Conservation Society, Global Fund for Environment, Tengwood Foundation, WCS – Wildlife Conservation Society, University College, London and Centre for Education, Research and Conservation of Primates and Nature (CERCOPAN).
These collaborations, some still ongoing have brought global attention to NPS activities in Nigeria and have exposed key operational staff of the agency to global best conservation practices thereby enriching the protection and management of Nigeria National Parks.
To the growth of conservation education and research, NPS has established long term training and retraining time lines including research windows with Universities of Ibadan, Maiduguri, Calabar, Akure, Yola, Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi among many others, and has through these set goals kept hope alive for future Nigerian conservation efforts and the development of needed manpower requirements in the sector. For instance, Gashaka-Gumti National Park alone has graduated more than fifty PhD students between 1995 to date. Also More than five thousands students had used National Parks for industrial work experience.