Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna, have pledged to work hand in hand to provide technical support for NDA to actualize its plan to establish a biodiversity conservatory in the Academy in the face of escalating threats to nations precious forests.This was made known today when the Commandant ,NDA Major General JO Ochai visited the College where he interacted with management and staff of the institution.
The Commandant said recognizing the pressing need to Combat detrimental human activities,particularly logging for firewood,the NDA has taken the Initiative to launch a groundbreaking campaign to plant one million trees.
Furthermore, in an illuminating statement, the Commandant enlightened the Provost about the military’s unique relationship with the environment.He dispelled misconceptions , highlighting how a skilled military tactician can strategically employ forest terrain to their advantage.In his words “Military officers are lovers of nature, they blend with nature.Only military officers poor in tactics damage the environment, a good military tactician uses the environment to his advantage ”
The Commandant further said with a determined focus on tree planting and the establishment of a biodiversity conservatory, the NDA will set an inspiring example for institutions, organizations and communities to follow.Major General Ochai further said the NDA ambitious endeavour is to create a haven for biodiversity across the entire expanse of NDA land.
He commended the management of the College for their tireless efforts at training students on the preservation of forests, noting that forests and forestry management are key elements in human existence. The Commandant decried the level of human activities that have led to the depletion of forests.He recalled how herbs obtained from forests served as potent and effective remedies to some illnesses in the past but lamented that today some of those trees are extinct or nearing extinction.
In his remarks, the Provost Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Professor SS Melomo pledged the College partnership, offering technical expertise and the provision of various tree species seedlings to help realize the NDAs efforts of establishing a thriving biodiversity area.He described the visit as a monumental shift in collaborative efforts for environmental conservation in the country.”This collaboration is not only a welcome change but also a symbol of hope for the nation’s forests
Delivering the vote of thanks on behalf of the management of the College, the Dean of Students Affairs, Dr. Ariyo Christopher expressed appreciation to the NDA and the Nigerian military for rescue operations which led to the release of abducted students of the College on 11 March 2021.
As part of the visit, the Commandant and Principal Staff Officers of the NDA were conducted on a tour round the College’s facilities and departments.
The Commandant was accompanied during the visit by the Academy Provost,Cadets Brigade Commander, Academy Registrar, Academy Adjutant, Academy Public Relations Officer, Academy Regimental Sergeant Major as well as Heads of Biological Sciences and Geography departments.