The United States Deputy Chief of Mission in Nigeria, Mr. David Young, has enjoined Nigerians to desist from the trafficking and unwarranted destruction of the nation's wildlife.
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate-General in Lagos said in a statement that Young gave the advice at an event in Lagos to mark this year's World Wildlife Day.
According to him, Nigerians need to stop trafficking and destruction of the nation's endangered species, including the Cross River gorilla and Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee.
"Sustainable eco-tourism is important to many nations of Africa in creating numerous tourism sector jobs. Conserving natural resources is vital.
"If Nigeria loses its precious large apes and other mammals, eco-tourism revenue and jobs disappear with these animals. Communities and individuals have the most important role to play. Communities and consumers can refuse to do business with illicit traders and poachers."
"I urge you to take up the challenge to preserve your forests, as well as the wildlife that depend on the remaining forests for survival," he said.
Young said that it should be the responsibility of every Nigerian to hold themselves accountable for the protection and conservation of the nation's wildlife resources.
The U.S. official said that he was in support of Nigeria's government legislation against trafficking of endangered animals.
The UN General Assembly, on Dec. 20, 2013, proclaimed March 3 every year as World Wildlife Day, to celebrate and raise global awareness on wild animals and plants.