By Fabian Ekeruche
Lagos, March 24, 2021
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on Wednesday took its war against vulture extinction to another level with the launch of the Save Vultures Documentary screening in Lagos State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the campaign, “Our Plight to Survive” , chronicles the challenges faced by vultures in the hands of poachers, traditional medicine practitioners, illicit traffickers of the creature, and others.
These activities are gradually making the vulture an endangered specie.
Dr Muhktari Aminu-Kano, Director-General /Chief Executive Officer, NCF, while delivering his welcome address at the event, expressed gratitude to fellows of the Foundation and partners for making the documentary a success.
Amino-Kano said that NCF had been known globally for its campaign for the conservation of vultures.
According to him, a campaign for the survival of vultures translates to the survival of the eco-system and other species alike.
Also, Dr Joseph Onoja, a Director in NCF, said the Foundation began its campaign for the protection of vultures since 2016.
Onoja noted that belief-based views were driving the extinction of vultures in Africa.
He said that the NCF had collaborated with market women, traditional medicine practitioners and law enforcement agencies in its campaign to save vultures from extinction.
NAN reports that some of the “Save Vultures Ambassadors” also showcased their involvement in the campaign for the survival of vultures.
Uduak Peters, a song writer and musician, popularly known as Tito Da Fire, recounted seeing huge population of vultures as a young child growing up in Liberia.
Tito Da Fire, however, noted that as an adult, such fantastic sight of vultures had become history.
” Being a vulture ambassador has made me to understand the workings of the specie.
“I have been engaging traditionalists on finding alternatives to vultures in traditional medicine,” the musician said.
He said that killing vultures prevented the vultures from playing their roles as environmental sanitation officers.
Another vulture ambassador, Nigerian Comedian, Kunle Idowu , a.k.a Frank Donga, said that he first saw vultures as a student in Ago-Iwoye, in Ogun.
According to him, many Nigerians do not know much about the creature.
“When you deprive vultures the opportunity to feed, you are killing vultures,” Donga said.
He said that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people had become very careful of unnecessary contact with wildlife.
NAN reports that the documentary shows that traditionalists use vultures in the preparation of eye and sickle cell medication and for spiritual cleansing for people suspected to be possessed by evil spirit.
It urged traditional medicine practitioners to look for alternatives to vultures for the treatment of ailments.
The campaign also appealed to illicit traffickers of wildlife to desist from the trade because of its negative impact on the environment.