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Partner Security agencies to Flush Out Criminals from Ekiti Forests, Oyebanji Orders Forest Guards

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, has directed the newly recruited Forest Guards in the state to synergies with security agencies to flush out kidnappers and other criminals that are using Ekiti forests as hideouts and inflicting terror on the citizens.

Oyebanji gave the directive, on Thursday, at the passing out parade organised for the Forest Guards as part of activities marking the 2024 International Forests Day with the theme: “Forests and Innovation: New Solution for a Better World”, held in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.

Oyebanji, represented by thr Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, disclosed that the government recently employed 22 Forest Guards, 18 boundary- men and 10 technicians to strengthen the workforce and be able to tackle rising cases of insecurity, deforestation and other criminal tendencies being displayed by some unscrupulous elements in Ekiti forests.

Being part of the concerted actions being taken to tame criminals that were infesting the forest reserves, the Governor stated that 20 hectares of land within the precinct of Ise Forest being used for cultivation of Indian Hemp, was recently discovered and destroyed to safeguard the lives of the citizens.

Oyebanji assured Ekiti citizens that his government has mapped out strategies in partnership with some stakeholders to increase forest potential of Ekiti for improved economy, ecosystem and atmospheric condition that can bring about healthy living and prolonged life expectancy of the people.

“Our government has been working tirelessly to ensure that forest estate is totally free from kidnappers and other evil perpetrators like illegal tree fellers, who are destroying our economic trees.

“To this end, this administration recently recruited 22 Foresters, 18 boundary men and 10 technicians to strengthen the workforce with a view to working with other security agencies to combat and flush criminals out of our forest reserves. The passing out parade of these officers is being held today.

” Since the inception of this administration, there has been yearly distribution of seedlings to farmers for improved afforestation , which will in return prevent top soil erosion, flood and landslide mitigation, shelter for wildlife and increased sources of wood products and to serve as barriers against windstorms, so that the forests can contribute optimally to economic growth.

“You are all aware that the raining season is fast approaching, there is need for every household to start planting trees to prevent destruction of lives and property. If this act is embraced, it will serve as beautification of our environment, reduce carbon emission, and produce fresh air, which will enhance good health condition”, the Governor stated.

Oyebanji pledged that his administration will superfluously equip the workforce of the commission to be able to deliver on the mandate of helping to improve the Internally Generated Revenue of the state geometrically.

Lending credence to the fact that Oyebanji’s government was ready to invest huge resources to keep the forest reserves in good shape, the Commissioner for Environment, Mrs Tosin Ajisafe- Aluko, said a total of two million tree seedlings will be planted in 2024 to shore up the state’s forest potential.

Aluko stated that the government will contrive many innovations to improve afforestation and make Ekiti viable in the sector to return Ekiti to the old good days, when forestry contributed to the growth of the economy.

In his submission, the Executive Secretary, Ekiti State Forestry Commission, Mr. Sunday Adekunle disclosed that the government is currently nursing 60,000 seedlings of various species at Erinfun Nursery that will be sold to interested members of the public to boost plantation agriculture.

Adekunle assured that government will also partner all relevant agencies to tackle forest desertification, pursue robust forest regeneration policy and propel efficient monitoring of all forests to contribute to the atmospheric and economic development of the state.

The occasion also featured mounting of the Guard of honour by men and officers of the Forest Guards.

Present at the occasion were: Ekiti State Commissioner for Information, Hon Taiwo Olatunbosun, lawmaker representing Ilejemeje constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon. iyabo Okeimen, her counterpart from Ikere constituency 2, Hon Tunde Idowu and Southwest constituency 1, Hon. Anthony Adaramodu, as well as the Head of Service, Engr. Sunday Komolafe,

Others were: The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mr Babatunde Alokan, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr Mrs Olomojobi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs Olusola Gbenga-Igotun, and Technical Adviser on Green Economy and Environment Matters, Dr. Akinyemi Akinyugha, among others.

Posted in Ekiti State News Bulletin
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