Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade today inaugurated 1500 Green Police volunteers.The governor charged the volunteers who were drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state to protect the forest holistically.He assured that none of the volunteers will earn less than N25, 000 monthly, pointing out that “your salary is going to be a good salary, because you are the men and women who will toil to provide oxygen for everybody else.”
“I want you to police every border, every exit point out of this state, police it and man it. When you compromise, you have compromised your conscience and when you compromise your conscience, remember that God is watching you,” he stated.
Ayade maintained that “for every single forest, God has put in it medicine, food and everything mankind needs, hence the need to protect and manage the forest jealously.”
Charging them to treat the forest like humans, Governor Ayade directed: “Protect those trees, they have got lives as they share direct relationship with humans, so protect them, show them care, love them for you have the force of Law signed by the governor of this state.
“Your responsibility is therefore, to save mankind; that is why God created you, to protect lives. You have a responsibility beyond physical materialism, your responsibility is spiritual; it is from God. When you save a tree, you save a life.”
Decked in deep green top and army green khaki, Ayade who inspected a parade by the volunteers charged them to ensure that activities of illegal loggers in the state come to an end, maintaining that “if afforestation was neglected, in the next 25 years, we will not have oxygen to breathe.”
According to him, “Cross River State has decided to take the initiative by ensuring that we start afforestation and maintaining a clean and green world,” adding that “we must protect the state from the harshness of the Harmattan, from the encroachment of the desert, so every one of us must recognize the value and dignity that comes with the innovation.”
Earlier, Commissioner for Climate Change and Forestry, Dr. Alice Ekwu, disclosed that since the Green Police will be tackling a global problem, negotiations were in top gear with international organizations to take part in funding the volunteers.
Highlights of the event was the commissioning of 25 pickup trucks for the Green Police and the anti- deforestation task force.