Insecurity: All States Should Manage Their Forests, S/West Govs Insist

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Governors of the states in the South-West of Nigeria over the weekend adopted the decision by the National Economic Council on forest ownership and management across the country, as part of their intentions to curb insecurity in the country.

Rising from a security meeting in the Oyo State Government House in Ibadan, the Chairman of the South-West Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, told journalists that in line with NEC position, all the states should be in charge of their forests.

They also agreed that stronger measures must be taken to tighten security around border areas to stop the incursion of foreign herdsmen.

The meeting also deliberated on the need for government to support cattle breeding and other agricultural production, and resolved that government must help with enablers to discourage open grazing across the country.

Said Akeredolu: “We believe that all the states should be in a position to manage their forests. And that will give enough room to determine who and who are there, what purpose are they serving, and where you have people there illegally, the state should be able to take some steps, so that we can preserve our forests”.

The meeting which had been scheduled at the instance of the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, however witnessed his absence as he could not fly out of Abuja due to bad weather.

Absent from the meeting also for the same reason were the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi.

The meeting had in attendance five governors including the host, Governor Makinde; Governors Akeredolu of Ondo, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, and Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State.

In attendance also were the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of South-West, David Folawiyo, and security chiefs serving in Oyo State. Others included the chairmen of Council of Traditional Rulers in each of the South-West states and some first-class monarchs.

According to Akeredolu, the meeting was held to find lasting solutions to the lingering security issues in the zone.

Some of the traditional rulers who took part in the meeting include the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi; Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Ajayi; Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan; Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunnjso 1; and Olugbon of Orile Igbon, Oba Francis Olusola Alao.

In attendance also were the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, and other heads of security agencies in Oyo State.

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