Dr. Johnson Idowu, CMD, Research Institute for Traditional and Alternative Medicine
Inadequate Law Enforcement, Bane Of Illegal Trafficking Of Pangolin –Dr. Idowu
The Chief Medical Director, Research Institute for Traditional and Alternative Medicine (RITAM), Dr. Johnson Idowu has attributed lack of adequate law enforcement and poor public awareness, as main contributors to the widespread illegal trafficking of Pangolin in Nigeria and across the world.
Dr. Idowu stated this at the recently held 2022 Pangolin Day organised by Pangolin Guild in Nigeria held at the Department of Zoology, University Of Lagos, where he advocated for the domestication of Pangolin, just like poultry and fishery.
He however absolved registered Traditional and Alternative Medicine practitioners from illegal trafficking of Pangolins in Nigeria.
In his paper entitled ‘Pangolin Trafficking In Nigeria-The Way Out’, Dr. Idowu identified lack of adequate law enforcement and poor public awareness as main contributors to the widespread illegal trafficking of Pangolin in Nigeria and across the world.
‘’The main contributors to the widespread illegal trade were the lack of adequate law enforcement; poor awareness of trade-related regulations among public and some key stakeholders and the absence of certain key stakeholders in the pangolin conservation process, such as the TCM community,” he stated.
He said all over the world Traditional Medicine Practitioners have been wrongly accused of being involved in the illegal trafficking and use of Pangolin.
According to him, in the past, traditional practitioners were using Pangolin’s scale to improve Blood Circulation, for bulletproof, improves breast milk secretion for lactation, financial independence, and for chieftaincy coronations.
He stated further that the scale of Pangolin also helps cure ulcers, improve sight, bleeding conductivities, conduct disorder, baldness, and asthma cough.
On how to prevent trafficking of Pangolin, Dr. Idowu advocated for the use of substitutes such as plant, manufactured products, daily Detox Tea, and Jobelyn.
He also called for frequent Pangolin research and not waiting for the yearly events alone.
According to him, there should be sensitization through radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and social media in Nigerian languages. Adding that there should be clinical research group in comparative studies on human subjects & animal studies.
He also called for quantitative and qualitative analysis of the ingredients used in Asia countries and adequate funding locally and internationally.
“Traditional medicine is legally established by National Health law 2014. Where we have the autonomy to practice and carry out research and education. Therefore, registered practitioners are not illegal traffickers of Pangolins. Rather it is the activities of the poachers and smugglers that are driving Pangolin into extensions, not the quantity hunted by our hunters and the TMPs that are causing extinction.”
He also said that any traditional practitioner that is not registered or known in his/her community should be regarded as a quack and ritualist by the state government.