By Ebere Agozie
The National Parks Service (PKS), says its collaboration with security agencies will help to combat illegal activities at the National Parks across the country.
Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General, PKS, said this while briefing newsmen after a closed door to the Director-General of the State Security Service (DSS) Lawal Daura in Abuja on Wednesday.
“We have been seeking collaboration with agencies for effective protection of the parks. The visit is in line with my desire to reach out to all security agencies since I assumed duty.
“We want to have adequate security and surveillance patrol at all the national parks in the country so they won’t become hiding places for criminals.’’
He said the move was to ensure the safety of lives and property of visitors and tourists at the parks at all times.
“Our intention is to rid the parks of criminals and hoodlums, who may want to take advantage of our security shortfalls to perpetrate nefarious activities in and around the parks.’’
He said that despite the security situation in some parts of the country, the Service would continue to serve as an embodiment of the nation’s biodiversity conservation and ecotourism destinations.
Goni reiterated his call on members of the public to visit any of the seven national parks in the country without fear.
The service had in February, trained some of its rangers across the country on arms and weapon handling.
Goni said the training would help to equip the rangers on how to control cattle grazers who encroach into the parks, due to lack of designated cattle routes and functional grazing reserves.
He said that the Service would continue to protect the parks from encroachment for farming and other human activities.
“These encroachments threaten the conservation of the parks, especially the Cross River, Gashaka-Gumti and Kainji Lake National Parks,’’ he said.