Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has donated a chimpanzee named ‘Patience’ to Pandrillus, a conservation organisation based in Nigeria and Cameroun.
Pandrillus located in Calabar, Cross Rivers State who have been operating in Nigeria since 1988, are dedicated to promoting the survival of the highly endangered Drill (Mandrillus leucopheus) and providing safe haven for orphaned chimpanzees.
Liza Gadsby and Peter Jenkins, founders of the organisation, said the former president decided to place the three-year old animal in the care of Pandrillus because he realized the special care needs of chimpanzees and also for Patience to grow up in the forest as part of the large chimpanzee group at Drill Ranch Afi Mountain.
As President of Nigeria, Obasanjo visited Drill Ranch in 2001, and made a follow up visit in 2011. They thanked the former president for his gesture, and pledged to take care of the animal.
Patience is a fantastic chimpanzee who has been well cared for by the staff of the OOPL Wildlife Park. Once she has completed her medical screening in Calabar, she will join the group at the newly completed Nigerian Chimpanzee Center – located at Drill Ranch Afi Mountain in Boki LGA of Cross River State.
Pandrillus thanked Mr. President and his staff for their logistical support and hospitality during Peter and Liza’s working visit. They also thanked Air Peace for carrying all three back to Calabar.
Earlier in the week, the former president, worried about the looming danger of food insecurity in Nigeria, called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, ban importation of vegetables, carrots, cucumber, lettuce and other fruits into the nation.
Obasanjo, made the call at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in Ibadan at the inaugural meeting of the ‘Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review’ Committee.
He described the importation of vegetables, cucumber, carrots, lettuce and other fruits being consumed in many hotels in the country as disgraceful and annoying to the nation’s economy in spite of the present high rate of unemployment in Nigeria.