In a bid to stem the tide of deforestation, Cross River governor, Prof Ben Ayade, on Tuesday joined by his Abia state counterpart, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, led thousands of Cross Riverians to plant one million trees in the state.
The event tagged: “Cross River State wet season green carnival,’ with the theme: “Calabar Green Canopy Scheme” has the objective of planting one million trees across the state.
Flagging off the event at the Botanical Garden along Mary Slessor Avenue in Calabar, Ayade said it was driven by the People’s generational core process for the future.
He explained that planting of young trees “is very critical for Carbon dioxide assimilation, so Cross River will be the carbon dioxide reservoir, the headquarters of the absorption of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere.”
Ayade noted that “Cross River has 58 percent of the entire forest cover of Nigeria and by our designation and plan, our strategy is to grow that to 68 percent,” adding that, “the reclamation of our rain forest remains pertinent to avert climate change.”
He said the construction of the 274km Superhighway where 28,000 trees, would be fell, has made it more imperative for the planting of trees.
“We are planting one million trees as a justification to support the afforestation process, not only for the superhighway but for the industrial farms that are yet to come because we cannot create industrial farms without deforestation,” he said.
The governor who enjoined young Cross Riverians to take advantage of the business opportunity created by the Green Carnival to start growing nurseries for the next year event, remarked: “There is an intellectual, physical, financial and economic component to the action.”
On his part, the Abia State governor, Dr. Ikpeazu, applauded Ayade for the feats recorded in Cross River, even as he described Ayade as “a generational politician,” and the event as “another futuristic event like no other in this country called Nigeria.
“Many politicians in Nigeria are regarded as elections politicians but Ayade is a generational politician who is not looking to the next election but thinking about not only Cross River of tomorrow but indeed Nigeria and the world.”