By Stephanie Ikanone
Chief Ede Dafinone has called on Nigerians to plant tree to celebrate the birth of every child and the demise of the old, adding that unless urgent steps at conservation are taken, Nigeria is in danger of losing much of its natural resources including forests and valuable wild animals.
He stated this on Monday, September 30, 2019, during the symbolic planting of a young Iroko Tree at the premises of Sapele Integrated Industries Limited, Amukpe in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State to mark the one year anniversary of the death of his late father, Senator David Omueya Dafinone.
The tree planting exercise jointly performed by Chief (Mrs) Cynthia Dafinone, wife of the late accounting and investment icon, Chief Ede Dafinone, Duvie Dafinone and other members of the Dafinone’s family, was witnessed by hundreds of Staff and dignitaries from all walks of life.
Chief Dafinone condemned the attitude of indiscriminate felling of trees and killing of wide animals especially those already in danger of extinction, saying the decision to plant an Iroko Tree in memory of their departed patriarch was a signal to Nigerians to conserve forests in the country.
A member of the board of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation for 25 years, Chief Ede Dafinone stated that it was wrong to cut down a 200-year old tree because of monetary gain without sparing a thought for future generation. In his words,”when we cut down all the trees and kill all the animals in the bush, one day we would realise that we can’t find any elephant left. We would have destroyed the forests and expose our environment to ecological and climatic problems locally and at global level”.
Speaking further, he said “when a great man dies, our people would say an Iroko has fallen. Today, we will plant a young Iroko tree; it will grow and when we are all gone our children and their own children will meet the tree, 100 years, 200 years from now. It means that our Daddy is not dead but lives on.”
Dafinone implored Nigerians to show some respect for nature. He thanked the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan, for providing the family with an Iroko tree which was yet at its nursery stage.
A senior Anglican minister, Bishop Diamond Emuobo, in a sermon during the reception held at the Dafinone’s family compound in Sapele, warned Nigerians to flee from the current high level of idolatry and living entirely for the moment prevailing the country, which he lamented has led to widespread violence and bloodletting in the land.
Bishop Emuobo, who lamented the spate of ransom kidnapping, including the 17-week ordeal of Samson Siasa’s 81-year old mother in kidnappers’ den, advised cultists, armed robbers and businessmen who inflate contracts for public projects to ”be conscious of Death, Judgment and Eternity, where everyone will stand alone and naked before God Almighty.”
He admonished all to seek to be remembered for good deeds like the late Dafinone, who he said bequeathed a good name for the family and community beyond the shores of Nigeria that would span present generations and those yet unborn.
Reminiscing earlier on the entrepreneurial, managerial and humanitarian qualities of the late Chief David Dafinone, the Finance and Administrative Manager, Sapele Integrated Industries Limited, Mr Emmanuel Agbaje, said that he was ”a man excellently blessed with foresight and capacity to manage men and resources one who saw the need to lay a solid foundation for the sustenance of the company”, adding that, ”the company remains one of the largest employers of labour in Sapele Local Government Area, and indeed in Delta State.
Former Information Minister, Prof Sam Oyovbaire, Delta State PDP Chairman, Mr Kingsley Esiso, Chief Eugene Inoaghan, Hon. Austine Ayemidejor, Hon. Joyce Overah, Chief Felix Anirah, Hon. Vincent Ayomanor, Mr Patrick Akamovba, members of Sapele Okpe Community, councillors of the Sapele Local government councils and a host of other dignitaries were present to grace the event.