The Ogun State government on Tuesday said that it would soon start arresting and prosecuting illegal occupants of the state forest reserves.
This was disclosed by the State Commissioner for Forestry, Tunji Akinosi, while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, the state capital.
He disclosed that traditional rulers have been asked to instruct all illegal occupants to leave or be arrested.
“We have asked those that are illegally occupying our lands to leave, and now we are moving to the second stage of combing the areas ourselves and arresting those that are still residents in the reserve,” Akinosi said.
He said, “In the last 18 months, this administration has taken the bull by the horn in getting the Imeko and Aworo Forest Reserves back and running.
“Unfortunately, the depletion did not start right now, it has been there and government this year alone had met twice with the Iledotun project coordinators and had taken 108,000 hectares of the forest reserve in Imeko and Aworo for regeneration.
“We call it LND project, Land Degradation Neutrality project where you bring people of diverse nations to regenerate that place, and I am sure that between now and the next few months, you will see the work that would start there in reclaiming all the land that is there.”
Recall that the Ondo State government had recently ordered Fulani herdsmen occupying the state forest reserves to vacate.
The directive by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu-led administration had attracted mixed reactions from different interest group and the presidency.