Oyo govt revokes illegal acquisition of 26,000 hectares forest

The Oyo state government said it had revoked illegal allocation of 26, 000 hectares of forest land by a past administration in the state.

The state commissioner for environment and natural resources, Kehinde Ayoola, who made the disclosure, said the state governor, Seyi Makinde, had already approved the revocation.

The commissioner on his verified Facebook page said a former governor allocated the forest land to himself and his cronies.

He also said government through the ministry of justice was making arrangements to take legal action over the acquisition.

He lamented that a government that was supposed to preserve forestry in the state to fight against global warming was depleting them.

The commissioner, who was recently inaugurated by the governor, said there were mind bugling revelations from the top civil servants in the ministry over the issue.

Ayoola said, “On the 16th August, my second day in office, I invited directors in the ministry to brief me.
It was while I took on the forestry department that I got a shocker about how the late government pillaged our forest resources.

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“They just awarded prime Forest land to themselves. For the records, Oyo State has 9 Forest Reserves, namely: Gambari FR, 11,431 hectares, Osho FR,  3,704, Ijaiye FR,  28,49,  Olokemeji FR, 7,511, Lanlate FR,  7,507, Igangan FR, 39,627, Olaseinde FR,  686, Ooko/Iroo FR, 2,300, Opara FR, 248,640.

“Gambari is located in Oluyole Local Government Area while Opara, the largest, traverses about 3 LGs in Oke-Ogun area namely: Iwajowa, Shaki and Kajola LGs.

“I was told they took 6000 hectares for themselves at Gambari Forest Reserve. At Ọ̀pàrà Forest Reserve, he sliced off 20,000 hectares.

“What makes these acquisitions reprehensible, and environmentalists and conservationists will agree, is that forests are very vital in the fight against global warming and its attendant problem of climate change.

“Nations of the world are looking to not only preserve their forest resources but they are adding to it. But our man was trying to take away from our forest.

“With the concurrence of His Excellency Governor Seyi Makinde, I have revoked the illegal allocations. We shall collaborate with the ministry of justice to take further necessary action”

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