The governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade has charged citizens of Cross River State to plant trees to protect the environment.
The professor of Environmental Science made the call, when he, accompanied by his wife, Dr Linda Ayade, declared open the 2021 edition of Calabar Green Carnival with the theme; ‘Go Green’ at the Botanical Garden, Calabar on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
In Nigeria, Cross River State has been at the front of the journey towards a green environment, from the tree planting campaigns, to the establishment of the Green Sheriff and the annual Calabar Green Carnival, a position Prof Ayade said must be maintained, owing to the fact that Cross River makes up 58% of the country’s forest cover.
In his words, ‘my vision is to ensure that you should have a canopy over your head when you drive through the streets of Calabar.
Senator Ayade reiterated that if you plant a tree today, it will reduce carbondioxide emissions, provide clean air, prevent soil erosion, help buffer noise pollution, cool our homes, streets and cities. Above all, for beautification. The performances by the bands, drawn from several government ministries and agencies, was followed by the demonstration of the newly acquired automatic tree transplanter.
The governor commended the effort of Cross River State Department of Afforestation & Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Climate Change and the Ministry of Culture & Tourism Development for putting together such auspicious occasion. He used the event to clear the air on the ownership of the state owned airline, Cally Air which he said belongs to all citizens of Cross River.
In conclusion, Governor Ayade announced his plans to take the fight to protect the environment further, by sending an executive order to the state house of assembly, proposing a bill to mandate every landlord in Cross River State to plant at least four trees.
If every Cross Riverian plants a tree, that would give us 4,200,000 (Four Million, Two Hundred) trees’.
He added that the reason for the proposal of a review of Cross River Forest management laws, to prevent illegal loggers who have invaded the state’s forests.
© Nelson Nseabasi