In marking the first remembrance anniversary of the late Chief (Senator) David Omueya Dafinone, OFR, Chief Ede Dafinone, Chairman, National Executive Council of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) led his family in the tree planting exercise in Sapele today, 30th September 2019.
According to NCF NEC Chair, he said that “When a great man dies we typically say ‘an iroko has fallen’ so it is appropriate that to mark this day an Iroko tree will be planted in the garden of the crumb rubber exporting factory established by my father in Amukpe, Sapele, Delta State.”
The Chairman hopes to use this tree planting to draw attention to the need to improve on Nigeria’s dwindling forest cover which now stands at 4percent compared to the FAO recommended level of 25percent. He drummed support for the laudable conservation efforts of NCF.
He said further that tree planting to commemorate births and deaths is common in some Asian countries and if this trend is established in Nigeria, it will be one of the thrusts of NCF’s Green Recovery Nigeria (GRN) initiative will continue to flourish, where there is push to recover degenerated and degraded forests whilst establishing new forests.
He said “To plant a tree is to send signal to the rest of Nigeria that we need to preserve our land. This Iroko tree will be planted in my father’s memory. It will grow and be year 100 years, 200 years, even when we might have gone from this world. While some people are cutting trees, destroying forests, we will continue to plant trees”
Hon. Emmanuel Agbaje, the Finance and Admin Manager of Sapele Integrated Industries Ltd (SIIL) in his introductory remark revealed that Senator Dafinone established the factory in 1995 for the processing of rubber because Sapele is known back then for large rubber plantation and the founder of SIIL remained one of the largest employers of labour of the time.
Chief Ede Dafinone, who is the second son appreciated the support of the staff of SIIL and community people of Sapele, Amukpe especially as they have immortalized the Senator a day before.
Present at the event were, Chief (Mrs.) Cynthia Dafinone, widow of the Senator; Chief Godfrey Dafinone, deceased brother; Mr. DuvieDafinone, deceased son; Mrs. Eyamba Dafinone and Mrs. Stella Dafinone, daughters in-law; management staff of SIIL, media, security agents among others.