OAUSTECH Prof tasks Govt, stakeholders on protection of endemic plants.
Governments and other critical stakeholders have been tasked to formulate sustainable policies to preserve and protect plants, as they are very crucial and indispensable component of the environment paramount to the survival of man and other living creatures on earth.
Prof. Adegoke Emmanuel Adegbite made the clarion call on Wednesday, 17 May, 2023 while delivering the 2nd Inaugural Lecture of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH), Okitipupa, Ondo State, Nigeria, entitled “Plants: Oscillating Amongst Creationism, Evolutionism and Genetic Modifications.”
Adegbite, who is the Dean of Postgraduate School, underscoring the importance of plants, argued that, without plants, no man can survive in the universe.
“Plants produce oxygen that we inhale, cleanses air and remove carbon dioxide from it for the survival of man and other living creatures,” he asserted.
The plant specialist added that plants also produce foods and medicines needed by man and other living creatures for their survival, activity, productivity and accomplishment.
“Without plants, man cannot survive. So, for this singular reason, Nigeria government at all levels must see that all hands are on deck to ensure plants do not go into extinction, because as communities expand for development purposes, the obvious is that most of these plants are being destroyed, which portends danger for humanity,” Adegbite lamented.
Prof. Adegbite therefore, called on government to, as a matter of urgency and in line with global best practices, enact sustainable policies that will deliberately address the preservation, cultivation of plants and make its teaching lucrative for the well being of humanity.
The university teacher stressed the need for government, relevant bodies, organizations and botanists in Nigeria to ensure newly discovered plant species are properly collected, cultivated, documented, experimented and preserved for the good of man and economic advantages for the country.
He also called on government to make good use of proceeds from economic plants to provide basic societal needs like portable water, befitting roads, electricity, education and state-of-the art health facilities for Nigerians.
The accomplished botanist raised fears at the alarming increase of quack herbal practitioners, and requested the government to arrest the situation as it is compromising people’s health everyday.
“In those days, the traditional health practitioners use the correct herbs and that’s why it was effective. But, nowadays, the unprofessional herbal medicine producers join together all kinds of unknown plants, plants that are unknown to them just to make sure they make money at the expense of people’s well being,” Prof. Adegbite astounded.
According to the professor of plants genetics and cytogenetics, historical and theological evidences have all shown beyond reasonable doubt, that God Almighty created plants and all that exist. “Even though, questions about whether the various plants came into being through creation, evolution or genetic modification remain a bone of contention among scientists the world over.”
“It seems there is no answer to that contradiction or confusion. The Bible and the Qur’an recorded that it is God Almighty that created plants, while evolutionists proposed evolution theory that plants came up from being unicellular cell to multicellular cells and came into the advanced form that we have today.
Also, new plants have been created through genetic manipulations of the original genotypes that have been in existence. So, what is the origin of the original genotypes that produced the diversity that we have today,” the botanist queried?
“These are some of the questions that science has not been able to address or answer. But as religionists, we have to take it by faith that God is the Creator of all plants that we have in the world today,” he submitted.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, OAUSTECH, Prof. Temi Ologunorisa reiterated that the research of the inaugural lecturer is germane to the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering, since the talk in the contemporary times is about hybrid and cross-breeding for better crops and products.
The celebrated professor of climate science emphasized the need to commercialize research findings from universities in the country, so that they do not just end up on the book shelves of professors, patent them and turn them to products that can improve lives and minimize human sufferings.
The fourth substantive Vice-Chancellor of OAUSTECH, disclosed that the University is doing her best to ensure some the endangered species of plants are protected and conserved, so that they would not just disappear. The University operated botanical and medicinal plants gardens for protection, research, teaching and practical demonstrations to students and other health professionals,” Prof. Ologunorisa revealed.