Home News Ogun Reads Riot Act To Militants, Poachers Occupying Forest Reserves

Ogun Reads Riot Act To Militants, Poachers Occupying Forest Reserves

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The Ogun State Government has vowed to expel militants and poachers occupying its forest reserves. The government had previously ordered 17 illegal communities in the Omo Forest Reserve, located in Ijebu-East/North local government areas to vacate by January 15, 2024.

The affected communities include Eseke, Tamitami, Bridge, Korede, Fatai, Sojukorodo, Etemi-Gerald, Onigbogbo, Erifun, Aba Alhaja, Erimogan, Ologunna, Ori Apata, Imaba, Apora, Fatai 2 and Yomi Iga.

Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday in Abeokuta, the Commissioner for Forestry, Taiwo Oludotun, an engineer, disclosed that ministry officials recently stormed some of these illegal communities and farm settlements to carry out demolitions.

Oludotun noted that some occupants had formed militant groups, obstructing government officials from performing their duties. He highlighted that the illegal occupants poach in the elephants’ habitat, harming biodiversity and the forest’s ecological health.

Oludotun was responding to reports of alleged attacks on farmers at Etemi Gerald, one of the communities issued the vacation notice.

He emphasised that Akinlolu Kehinde, an illegal occupant, had falsely accused government officials who carried out demolition at Etemi Gerald of being hoodlums. He said that no blackmail would deter the government from expelling illegal occupants from the forest.

“Unfortunately, inhabitants of Etemi Gerald encroached into the natural heritage of Omo Forest Reserve, illegally building houses and cultivating several hectares of cocoa farms after destroying economic and conserved tree species preserved for research purposes. Farming and erecting permanent structures within forest reserves without state government consent is illegal,” Oludotun said.

The commissioner reaffirmed government’s commitment to protecting forest resources, stating, “We will continue to implement and pursue policies that ensure the protection of our forest resources for future generations.”

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