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The Taraba Government says it will integrate the Nigerian National Park Service into its security architecture as part of efforts to secure the lives and property of its people.

Gov. Ishaku said this when he received the Conservator of Gashaka-Gumti National Park, Mohammed Kabir at Government House in Jalingo.

The governor said integrating the park into the security architecture of the state had become imperative as the state government was committed to securing lives and property of the people as well as guaranteeing “a well-coordinated policing of the park and its environs.

He also added that he was committed to fostering synergy with security agencies in the state and promised to provide motorcycles to ease mobility as well as look into the communication requirements of the park.

He said the park had contributed to research and ecotourism as researchers from Germany and England visit it frequently.

The governor said there was the need for restocking of viable protected areas in the state, including the park with animal species such as hippos whose population he noted had declined.

Earlier, Kabir highlighted challenges militating against successful protection of the park’s resources.

He, however, said that recently an NGO, Africa Nature Investors signed an MoU with the National Park Service to give technical and logistics support as well as develop the manpower of National Park.

Kabir also said the conservator-general was working assiduously to ensure that the service was integrated into the nation’s security architecture.

“We have been playing a significant role in national security since the loss of a nation’s natural resources may lead to security crisis.

“On the issue of conflicts with other land users, in the last three years the park has lost four staff to herdsmen and illegal loggers while enforcing arrest, and some others have been maimed or injured in the process.’’