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Don Calls For Immediate Reversal Of Reckless Deforestation In Nigeria; Suggests Use Of Palynology To Nab Kidnappers | The Precision

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L-R: Prof. Olugbenga Ige, AAUA’S 11th Inaugural Lecturer, handling over the lecture manuscript to the VC, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun (M). They are flanked by the Registrar, Mr. Sunday Ayeerun.

A Professor of Palynology and Palaeoecology, Olugbenga Ebenezer Ige of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, has called on the Nigerian Government at all levels to urgently stop the prevailing reckless destruction of vegetation and forest if the nations future is to be assured.

Prof. Ige made the call on Tuesday while delivering the 11th Inaugural lecture of the University, entitled, Wanted! Dead and Alive: Palynomorphs as Microscopic Signal to the Past and Present.
Prof. Ige said, Without vegetation there will be no Palynology. Therefore, theres urgent need to reverse the wanton destruction of our vegetation particularly forest where over 90% of our biodiversity is domiciled. Conscious efforts should be made by the government to stop or slow deforestation. 

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“Nearly all vegetation in Nigeria had been degraded and the Tropical rainforest is fast becoming derived savannah. About 30% of Earth’s land surface is covered by forests but deforestation is taking place at an alarming rate in the last 80 years because of the increasing attitude of our people in construction of roads, industrialisation, urbanisation, lumbering, among others. This is putting palynology (the study of pollen grains and spores of plants) in great danger.
“Nigeria is one of the 37 countries listed as having Low Forest Cover with High Rates of Deforestation (LFHD). The effort of the Forest guards and rangers in Nigeria should be improved so as to effectively manage our forest. Extensive afforestation campaign should be launched in the interest of environmental protection.” 
He added that the removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage to habitat, biodiversity loss and aridity with adverse impacts on bio-sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Prof. Ige urged the government to enforce a policy of “One man One tree” approach for sustainability of the nations forests, noting that, in many parts of the world, especially in East Asian countries, reforestation and afforestation are increasing the area of forested lands.” 
Prof. Ige noted his modest contribution to AAUA by planting many trees on an expanse of land in the Year 2010, saying, that portion of land is today covered by beautiful vegetation.
He commended the immediate past government of Ondo State for doing a lot through in its urban renewal initiatives, adding, I recommend this policy to all the three tiers of government in this country.
The Inaugural Lecturer tasked the National Assembly to promulgate and enforce Nigeria’s environment act in order to check the incessant flooding in some parts of the country.

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To stem down agitation and militancy in the Niger Delta area of the country, Prof. Ige said the clearing of Ogoni land started by the Federal Government should be intensified, after which the re-vegetation of the area is pursued vigorously by the government and the oil companies operating in the area in order to return the vegetation that has existed before the advent of exploration and exploitation activities over 50 years ago in Oloibiri well. 
Prof. Ige advised government to engage palynology in stemming down the prevailing kidnapping incidents in the country by identifying the kidnappers den through subjecting materials (clothing, shoes) from released victims to pollen analysis.
He advised government to establish Forensic Palynology Laboratories in the country which would help in locating the specific areas in the country used by kidnappers to hide victims, noting, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, will be ready to pioneer such investigations.

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