Home » Africa: Wild Africa Fund’s Campaign Gains Momentum with Support from Alex Iwobi, 2Face, Davido, and Ali Baba to Protect Pangolins and Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade in Nigeria

Africa: Wild Africa Fund’s Campaign Gains Momentum with Support from Alex Iwobi, 2Face, Davido, and Ali Baba to Protect Pangolins and Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade in Nigeria

by Atqnews
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Pangolins

Nigerian football sensation and Fulham midfielder, Alex Iwobi, along with music icons Innocent Idibia (2Face) and David Adeleke (Davido), alongside renowned comedy star Ali Baba, have united in a campaign to safeguard Pangolins and curb the demand for illegal wildlife products in Nigeria.

According to saharareporters.com, the campaign, spearheaded by Wild Africa Fund and supported by a wide array of Nigerian media organisations, brought together a stellar lineup of other Nigerian celebrities including Emanuella Samuel of Mark Angel Comedy, comedian and actor, Chibuike Josh Alfred, popularly known as Josh2Funny who have committed their voices and influence to amplify the escalating threats posed by the illegal wildlife trade, particularly on pangolins.

As Nigeria joined other countries of the world last Saturday to celebrate World Pangolin Day, Nigerian celebrities from different fields of endeavour also shined a spotlight on the urgent need to address the devastating impacts of illegal wildlife on pangolins and the use of Nigeria as an export hub for trafficking pangolin scales.

READ: News: Danger as Pangolin Trade thrives in Nigeria with the seizure of 1,613 tonnes by Customs in 2022

Commending Nigerian top personalities for their contributions to the campaign, the Wild Africa Fund’s West Africa spokesperson, Dr. Mark Ofua, said, “By leveraging the power of public figures and the influence they wield, this campaign aims to turn the tide for pangolins and make Nigeria a regional leader in fighting wildlife crime.”

The Wild Africa Fund in a statement made available to SaharaReporters on Wednesday noted that pangolins are the most trafficked mammals in the world.

The organisation stated that this is partly because pangolins’ scales are in great demand for use in traditional medicine in Asia.

READ: Africa: Nigerian Customs intercepts pangolin scales, lions’ bones of 854,719 tonnes worth N952 million at Apapa Port

The organisation said that as pangolin populations in Asia have declined, shipments from Africa have greatly increased to meet soaring demand.

According to the Wildlife Justice Commission, 55 percent of pangolin scale seizures worldwide between 2016 and 2019 were linked to Nigeria.

With the involvement of top Nigerian celebrities and icons, the Wild Africa Fund said that a recent survey of 1,000 Nigerians conducted by Lagos-based Market Surveys International found that 88 percent are aware of its campaign with 97 percent of people aged 10-17 years reporting that they remember the campaign.

“Additionally, 86 percent said they would no longer kill or consume because of the knowledge gained from the campaign and 31 percent said they had stopped consuming bushmeat due to the campaign.

“Furthermore, 91 percent signified their intention to substitute bushmeat with other sources of protein like chicken, fish, and meat from goat, cattle and turkey.”

“The impact and reach of the campaign could be attributed to several factors, including increased coverage of wildlife issues by Nigerian news organisations, Wild Africa Fund’s widely-seen public service announcements featuring Nigerian celebrities as well as several other engaging content like Dr. Mark’s Animal Show which targets kids and teenagers and has been broadcast by several TV channels in Nigeria,” the statement added.

The founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Wild Africa Fund, Peter Knights OBE who applauded Nigerians for joining the campaign said, “Once aware of the issues, leading Nigerians and media have been incredibly supportive of better wildlife protection and we truly believe the country can lead the region in safeguarding pangolins and other endangered wildlife.”

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