By Ismaila Chafe
The Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr Tijjani Umar, has commended park rangers in the Presidential Villa for their role in protecting wild animals and plants in the official seat of government.
Umar made the commendation when he received a delegation of rangers in the State House, Abuja, on Friday.
The delegation was led by Mrs Kehinde Abidemi, Assistant Conservator of Parks and Wildlife Curator, State House, and Dr Haruna Tanko, the Head of the State House Veterinary Unit.
The permanent secretary paid tribute to rangers in the country who had lost their lives in the line of duty, since the inception of Nigeria National Parks in 1991.
He said: ‘‘We are privileged to have you working with us in the Presidential Wildlife Collection (State House mini zoo).
“I think you have distinguished yourselves in providing care to the wildlife collection that we have, continuously providing the road map for us to not only provide care to them but to also improve their wellbeing.’’
While acknowledging the important role the environment plays in sustaining human lives, he said:
“For those people whose responsibility it is to maintain the integrity of our flora and fauna, we owe you a huge debt of gratitude and we stand with you as you celebrate World Ranger Day on July 31.
“On behalf of our principals here in the State House as well as the Management and Staff, we express our gratitude to you and your colleagues around the world.
“I congratulate our rangers and commit to support what you are doing in terms of providing everything that will make your job easier.’’
In her remarks, Abidemi, the State House Curator, said since 1991, no fewer than 50 rangers had lost their lives in the line of duty in Nigeria, killed by poachers and wild animals.
‘‘On a day like this we also pay tribute to fallen hero rangers and we in the State House thank the management for giving us the opportunity to serve in the Presidential Wildlife Collection,’’ she said.