Chief (Mrs) Cynthia Dafinone, wife of the late accounting and investment icon, Chief Ede Dafinone and other members of the Dafinone family performing the tree planting to mark one year passage of Senator David Dafinone

By Stephanie Ikanone

The Dafinone family and Okpe leaders have marked the one year remembrance of the demise of the late renowned accountant and Guinness book of record holder accounting, Senator David Omueya Dafinone, with planting of trees in his honour in Sapele, Delta State.

Chairman of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), and son of the late lawmaker, Chief Ede Dafinone called on Nigerians to plant trees to celebrate the birth of every child and the demise of the old.

Chief Dafinone said unless urgent steps are taken to protect the nation’s natural resources, Nigeria will be in danger of losing much of its natural resources including forests and valuable wild animals to encroachment.

He stated this during the one year remembrance ceremony of his late father and awarding accountant, Senator Dafinone on Monday at the symbolic planting of Iroko tree at the premises of Sapele Integrated Industry in Amukpe Limited, Amukpe in Sapele Local Government Area of the state.

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The exercise was jointly performed by Chief (Mrs) Cynthia Dafinone, wife of the late accounting and investment icon, Chief Ede Dafinone and other members of the Dafinone family, which was witnessed by hundred of staffs and dignitaries from all walks of life.

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Dafinone condemned what he described as indiscriminate falling of trees and killing of wild animals especially those already in danger of extinction, saying the decision to plant an Iroko Tree in memory of their departed patriarch was a signal to Nigerians to conserve forests in the country.

A member of the board of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation for 25 years, Chief Dafinone stated that it was wrong to cut down a 200-year old tree because of monetary gain without considering future generation.

In his words,” when we cut down all the trees and kill all the animals in the bush, one day we would realise that we can’t find any elephant left. We would have destroyed the forests and expose our environment to ecological and climatic problems locally and at global level.

“When a great man dies, our people would say an Iroko has fallen. Today, we will plant a young Iroko tree; it will grow and when we are all gone our children and their own children will meet the tree, 100 years, 200 years from now. It means that our Daddy is not dead but lives on.”

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Dafinone further implored Nigerians to show some respect for nature. He thanked the Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan, for providing the family with an Iroko tree which is at its nursery stage.

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Bishop Diamond Emuobo, in a sermon during the reception held at the Dafinone’s family compound in Sapele, warn Nigerians to flee from the current high level of idolatry and living entirely for the moment prevailing the country, which he lamented has led to widespread violence and bloodletting in the land.

Chief (Mrs) Cynthia Dafinone, wife of the late accounting and investment icon, Chief Ede Dafinone and other members of the Dafinone family performing the tree planting to mark one year passage of Senator David Dafinone

Bishop Emuobo, who lamented the spate of ransom kidnapping, including the 17-week ordeal of Samson Siasa’s 81-year old mother in kidnappers’ den, advised cultists, armed robbers and businessmen who inflate contracts for public projects to ”be conscious of Death, Judgment and Eternity, where everyone will stand alone and naked before God Almighty.”

He admonished all to seek to be remembered for good deeds like the late Dafinone, who he said bequeathed a good name for the family and community beyond the shores of Nigeria that would span present generations and those yet unborn.

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Reminiscing earlier on the entrepreneurial, managerial and humanitarian qualities of the late Chief David Dafinone, the Finance and Administrative Manager, Sapele Integrated Industries Limited, Mr Emmanuel Agbaje, said that he was ”a man excellently blessed with foresight and capacity to manage men and resources. One who saw the need to lay a solid foundation for the sustenance of the company.”

He said that at a time that ”others in the industry are shutting down temporarily and even completely” because the late proprietor ”initiated the  idea of having a raw material feed system, and commenced the process of land acquisition for rubber plantations. As at today, 1,100 of land have been planted with rubber trees, with matured fields put at 70% with about 400 staff strength, ”the company remains one of the largest employers of labour in Sapele Local Government Area, and indeed in Delta State, Agbaje further said.

Former information minister, Prof Sam Oyovbaire, Delta State PDP Chairman, Mr Kingsley Esiso, Chief Eugene Inoaghan, Hon. Austine Ayemidejor, Hon. Joyce Overah, Chief Felix Anirah, Hon.Vincent Ayomanor, Mr Patrick Akamovba, members of Sapele Okpe Community, councillors of the Sapele Local government councils and a host of other dignitaries were there to grace the event.


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