Bauchi state governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed, on Saturday said he would plead with the Federal Government to turn Yankari Game Reserve to a National Park.
Speaking during an interactive session with newsmen, the governor faulted the decision of previous regime in the state that requested for the return of the Reserve, after the Federal Government had sought for, and acquired it.
He wondered why,having been relieved of the financial burden of managing the Reserve, the then government requested for ‘a return of the burden.’
The governor lamented the ‘sorry’ state of the Reserve, noting that animals were dying as poachers were having a field day.
He said government was exploring the possibility of sourcing for money to address the situation.
The governor hinted plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the state government and World Conservation Foundation, with a view to protecting plant species and animals in the Reserve.
Mohammed said the target now was to make Yankari self-sustaining, to relieve the state government of the financial burden of managing it
He linked the resurgence of Yellow Fever at the Reserve to the abundance of monkeys in the area.
While admitting that the development was a ‘problem’, he assured that government was “prepared to tackle the problem.”
According to him, immunization of residents of Alkaleri Local Government Area, which hosts the Reserve, has commence , adding that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has promised to assist.