• Says the area has been long invaded by dangerous species
By Timi Black
The Obolo Youth Coalition Worldwide, has reiterated called on the Federal, Rivers state Governments and all relevant authorities to declare Andoni a reserved area to conserve a large number of endangered species in the area.
The youth made the call through their president general
Hon. (Amb.) Ijonama Mkpon Amon on Saturday 30th October, 2021 when a fisherman in Oyorokoto, Mr. Nte Idalla caught a big dolphin in the Oyorokoto river in Andoni LGA.
The group reiterated that the killing of dolphin and other dangerous animals would have been averted and taken to facilities, aquarium, or resorts that specialize in animal performance if the proposed bill in the National Assembly, presented by Hon. Dragomie Awaji-Inobek Abiante, who is representing Andoni- Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency and several other letters emanated from Andoni people were given adequate attention.
“The Andonians are not unaware of the economic values of wildlife animals including dolphins, Hippopotamus and others found in our territorial waters and forest, yet these wildlife are been killed in numbers.
“How can we easily convinced a local fisherman to stop fishing or let go of some species of fish and animals when adequate measures are yet to be put in place to utilize them for economic benefits?
“From the researcher’s storyline, we learnt that dolphins usually help people who are in need, reaching out to humans with compassion in ways that some people consider it to be miraculous.
“Through out history, people have been testifying how dolphin has been helpful to humanity. Mostly mariners in perilous situations at sea, including some fishermen who were drowning were being protected from attack by sharks and other mammals in the deep sea.
“It has been reported time without number that, dolphin and humans have a special bond, probably because no one gets us like our flipper friends. And more, countless cases have been recorded of dolphin going out of their ways to rescue distressed humans from the depths of the oceans, even saving them from sharks.
“For over 50 years, the Navy has been utilizing dolphins for various wartime purposes including guarding military bases. Their advanced echolocation outperforms even up to date.
“Aside from being smart enough to be super helpful to humans, they’re also smart enough to reach out when they need some reciprocation. In Hawaii, a group of scuba divers was approached by a lone dolphin, who they soon discovered to be trapped in a fishing line. Luckily the dolphin was persistent, and the divers were able to help set it free.
“Based on the foregoing, it will be recalled that Obolo Youth Coalition on 26 October, 2021 wrote an open letter and address it to the Head of Forestry in the Federal Ministry of Environment Mr. D. Adejoh Andrew anf the Rivers State Commissioner of Agriculture, Hon. Fred Kpakol attention has been drawn to the wild animals-rich forest in Andoni L.G.A. of Rivers State.
“Another follow up letters were sent to the following authorities on the same subject matter: The President of the federal republic of Nigeria, the Governor of Rivers State, the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly etc, to see the urgent and economic needs to designate the place as EXCLUSIVE FOREST RESERVE AREA to preserve the already endangered animals such as elephant, lions, tigers, hippopotamus, etc which has been coming into communities like Ikuru Town, Ekede, Ilotombi, etc.
The OYC President also narrated that a big swordfish and tortoise were also caught in the same Andoni river recently.
The president asserted that its group has in several fora canvassed for the need to tap into the abundance of wildlife in the area to open up the place for both local and foreign investors.
Hon. Mkpon stressed passionately: “we have been pleading with both Federal, State Governments and other relevant authorities to designate the Ikuru-Oyorokoto ranch as exclusive forest; to preserve our wildlife for tourism to create alternative revenue for the government.
This will create employment opportunities for our teeming youths and it will reduce youth excessiveness in Niger Delta.
“But our appeals were ignored. As I said on a live programme with AIT, other TV and radio stations in Port Harcourt. Our neighbours, (the Ogonis) were crying bitterly against the degradation of their land by the activities of oil companies.
“Their cries were ignored, they were looked down and snubbed for a long time.
Thanks to courts overseas and Hydrocarbon Pollution Mediation Project (HYPREP) which have brought succor to our brothers in Ogoni: And today, the Ogonis are experiencing a new leaf of life and someday our cries would be heard”
However, the youth leader commends Hon. Erastus Awortu led Andoni Local Government Council for the laudable steps taken to preserve the wildlife and aquatic life in Andoni.
According to the youths: “History will be kind to him, house member representing Andoni-Opobo/Nkoro federal constituency and every individuals/group for making our call a reality.
The Obolo youth leader also pleaded with youths in Andoni to support the Andoni Council boss to realize the dreams of turning Andoni into tourist sites to attract direct foreign investment and open a window of development across Obolo land.