Illegal farmers and timber contractors around the elephant conservation area in Omo Forest Reserve, in Ijebu- East/North Local Government Area of the State have been ordered to vacate the area on or before January 15, 2024.

          The State Commissioner for Forestry, Engr. Taiwo Oludotun, gave the order during a meeting with farmers, village heads and timber contractors at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, disclosing that 17 communities were identified to have encroached 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”.   

Engr. Oludotun pointed out that planting cocoa seedlings within the state's forest reserves was illegal, warning that any cocoa seedlings found within the forest reserve after the exit date would be duly sanctioned.

 "The state Ministry of Forestry will not fold its arm and allow illegalities to continue within its forest reserves, any timber contractor found to be involved in cocoa plantation within the reserves, the government property hammer of such contractor will be withdrawn’’, he said.

In his remarks, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Timothy Olatunji,

called on timber contractors to cooperate with the Ministry to put an end to the unwholesome activities within the forest reserves.

Responding, the representatives of timber contractors, Hon. Kunle Kalejaye and Alhaja Ranti Bambi, expressed dismay at the violation of government’s directive by some miscreants, promising to complement the Ministry's efforts in curbing the illicit act.

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