Illegal farmers and Timber Contractors To Vacate Forest Reserve In Ogun
By Grace samuel
The Ogun state government has ordered certain communities, labelled as “illegal farmers and timber contractors”, to leave the forest area on or before January 15, 2024.
The Commissioner for Forestry in the state, Taiwo Oludotun, issued this order during a meeting with farmers, village leaders, and timber contractors at Oke-Mosan in Abeokuta, according to a statement released by the Press Officer for the Ministry of Forestry, Luke Adebesin, on Wednesday.
Oludotun accused 17 communities of encroaching on the buffer zones of the forest reserve.
According to the commissioner, “The 17 communities are: Eseke, Tamitami, Bridge, Korede, Fatai, Sojukorodo, Etemi- Gerade, Onigburugburu, Erifun, Aba Alhaja, Erimogan, Ologunna, Ori Apata, Imaba, Apora, Fatai 2 and Yomi Iga.”
Oludotun made it clear that planting cocoa seedlings within the state’s forest reserves is illegal. He warned that any cocoa seedlings found within the forest after the exit date will be duly sanctioned.
According to him, the state Ministry of Forestry will not tolerate any illegal activities within its forest reserves. “Any timber contractor found to be involved in cocoa plantation within the reserves will have the government property withdrawn from such a contractor”, the statement read.
It said the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Timothy Olatunji, appealed to timber contractors to work together with the Ministry to put an end to the “unwholesome activities” happening within the forest reserves.
During the meeting, representatives of timber contractors, Kunle Kalejaye and Alhaja Ranti Bambi, expressed disappointment at the violation of government’s directives by some miscreants. They promised to support the Ministry’s efforts in curbing the illicit act.