The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has commiserated with Her Majesty, the Queen of England and the Royal Family on the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, aged 99.
This is contained in a statement by Chief Philip Asiodu, President, Board of Trustees of the NCF, issued to newsmen on behalf of the board, the National Executive Council (NEC) and the management of the foundation.
It described Prince Philip as a pioneer wildlife conservationist, noting that his passage was a ”loss of an audacious voice for nature”.
The statement further added that the Duke promoted Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and the foundation’s birth.
“Prince Philip was a friend to the late Chief Shafi Lawal Edu, the founder of NCF. As then President of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), he supported Chief Edu in establishing the NCF.
“He continued to give his support to the organisation until it became fully fledged.
“At the instance of NCF, Prince Philip had visited Nigeria on a number of occasions, thereby bringing to global prominence some of Nigeria’s rich natural heritage.
“The international recognition that the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands first received was as a result of his efforts.
“The area is now officially recognised by the United Nations amongst the Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar site) and is part of the Nigerian National Parks System,’’ the statement said.
It noted that on Feb.18, 1989, the Duke of Edinburgh laid the foundation stone of the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC), which was jointly developed by NCF and Chevron Nigeria Ltd.
It added that Prince Philip later inaugurated the centre after its completion.
“We join the rest of the global community of environmentalists in mourning the loss of such an audacious voice for nature and one of the pioneer wildlife conservationists.
“His death has no doubt, left a big vacuum in the nature conservation arena that is difficult to fill. But his legacies live on.
“Adieu His Royal Highness, Prince Philip – Friend of NCF,’’ it stated.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed on at the age of 99 on Friday, April 9, 2021.