THE management of Okomu National Park in Ovia South-West Local Government Council, Edo State over the weekend complained of incursion into reserved areas in the facility by suspected youths from its host community.
The management said the park was not out to deprive the host community of its means of living but to preserve nature’s gift for future generations.
Conservator of the Park, Oladipo Cornelius stated this over the weekend when he delivered a set of 40 double desks and black boards to Olodiama Primary School in Inikorogha.
He said that the gesture was part of the Park’s effort to strengthen its community relation activities, adding that the corporate mission of the Park was to “protect, manage and regulate the use of the unique forest eco-system by measures to preserve and conserve it heritage” and these he said would be difficult to attain without the effective support from the host communities.
Communities in the area have complained of neglect and adequate compensation from the management of the park over the years.
He urged the people to have a change of attitude towards the Park officials, adding that the new management was aware of the numerous infrastructural challenges confronting the communities
“It is necessary to state here that the National Park Service is not out to deprive the rural communities of their means of livelihood but a partner in progress to preserve a legacy for future generation’’
He equally promised to embark on the demarcation of the Southern expansion of the Park, which he said has been approved by the Federal Government.
Responding, Chairman, Inikorogha Community, Matins Polo appreciated the management of the Park in its efforts at advancing the course of education in the community.
He attributed the upsurge of illegal activities by some youths in the area to years of neglect and deprivation by successive government.