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Nelson Mandela Park… a shy, beautiful bride in Asaba

*Garden was built to celebrate MadibaJibunoh

The UN followed it up by asking for monument to be built around the world, saying if a small percentage of persons in the world could be like Nelson Mandela, the world would be a better place for us all… And for this singular honour, we have decided to build something that would be in line with that of UN’s declaration to inspire the younger generations to come and have a complete different life’

Welcome to Nelson mandela park

By Monday Osayande, Asaba

ACCLAIMED environmentalist, Dr. Newton Jibunoh, has revealed the reason behind building a garden after Nelson Mandela in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

In a chat with The Guardian in Asaba, the Desert Warrior, as he’s fondly called, said the famous Mandela Garden was built for the purpose of immortalising the legend, who sacrificed his life for the emancipation of the black race, as declared by United Nations (UN).

The 85-year-old environmentalist further explained that for the memory and legacy of Mandela, United Nations had decided to set aside July 18 of every year as world Mandela Day.

“The UN followed it up by asking for monument to be built around the world, saying if a small percentage of persons in the world could be like Nelson Mandela, the world would be a better place for us all.”

For Jibunoh, there was nothing more to celebrate the living legend than to consider ourselves fortunate not only in Delta, but also in Nigeria, to have his endorsement by the UN.

“And for this singular honour, we have decided to build something that would be in line with that of UN’s declaration to inspire the younger generations to come and have a complete different life,” he said.

On sustainability of the projects, he said, “There has to be a successor agreement to see that the kind of people we have here would value what we have done, which is part of the processes that we have put in place to ensure that when the old people like us leave the scene, the younger ones would take over and keep the legacy of Mandela going.”

“We are making sure that the trees are well-natured to bear fruits and give shades in the garden as well as release oxygen to our immediate environment.

“Those things are important to our lives. That is why we have planted these trees; that is the message we are passing onto them. And you can see that from the thousands of trees we have planted, oxygen would be released to Asaba people.”

He, however, expressed disappointment, as many people did not understand the usefulness of tree planting to human existence and the environment.

“We are now sensitising the people to know that it’s their project to see how they can gather themselves to own and plant trees. Some of the trees planted are being removed, and others being trampled upon. No tree, no life, hence you see people under the trees, you see vulcanizers working under the tree, you see cars packed under the trees.”

While urging Nigerians to understand the idea behind tree planting, he said, “In a few years time, they would provide us with shades. Also, I plant trees because of nature, which is keeping us alive. I derive a lot of joy doing this because it keeps me healthy and gives me the longevity of life. So, don’t remove them or trample upon them, but help us to grow more,” the 85-year-old pleaded.

https://guardian.ng/art/jibunoh-mandela-garden-was-built-to-celebrate-madiba/

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…How and why the Nelson Mandela Garden of 95 Trees was born

THE birth of the project was triggered by a chance meeting in March 2013 between the renowned environmentalist, Dr Newton Jibunoh and Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela and Founder of Africa Rising Foundation in New York, USA.

The meeting was on the sideline of a global event held at the UN headquarters in New York in the wake of the endorsement of the International Mandela Day (July 18) by the UN.

Fondly called the Desert Warrior, Dr. Jibunoh, founder of foremost environmental not-for-profit body, Fight Against Desertification, FADE, thereafter sought approval of the Nelson Mandela family, to establish the Nelson Mandela Garden of 95 Trees.

Dr Jibunoh then returned to Nigeria and approached the Delta State Government under Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for a parcel of land, which was granted. Note that the state government, had earlier been pressurising the illustrious Deltan, Jibunoh, to extend the largesse of his global campaign for sane environment to his state of origin. The then governor, Uduaghan said it himself at the commissioning; that he had indeed been ‘blackmailing’ Dr Jibunoh not to concentrate his projects only in Lagos, but to extend such to his state. He said he had promised him that he would make land available for such project. Thus it was easy to grant the request of Dr Jibunoh to establish the project when he approached.

The Park was commissioned in October 2013, with members of the Nelson Mandela Family led by Ndaba Mandela, present to flag off the planting of the 95 trees to mark the 95th birthday anniversary of the African statesman. Also present were other high-networth guests that included Governor Uduaghan and other members of his cabinet, as well as friends of Dr Jibunoh, including Major-General TY Danjuma, ad Mrs Funsho Amosun, wife of then then Ogun state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

Located within the Asaba international airport in Delta State, the garden is designed in the shape of the Map of Africa using 95 Trees with each tree not only representing the 95 years of Nelson Mandela on earth, but also planted in such a unique way that they outline the maps of Nigeria, South Africa and Delta State, all clearly delineated within the garden and complimented with a life-size statue of Nelson Mandela.

“The Mandela Gardens, is a nature resort that offers both tourism and educational provisions for the general public while promoting the values of Nelson Mandela, also known as “Madiba”, which include freedom, equality, inclusivity, and truth, some which we hope our people and leaders can imbibe, especially in these days of political intrigues,” stated Dr Jibunoh.

“At present, there are only three other similar monuments created around the world by the African Rising Foundation namely in Washington, London and Johannesburg making the Mandela Garden of 95 Trees, Asaba in Delta State the fourth of such monuments.”

Dr. Jibunor revealed too that the project had received generous support from various local and international organisations, starting from the state government, which generously donated the parcel of land within the Asaba airport premises.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV-VMmtXhKs

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