Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, said the Ondo state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu(SAN) has the rights under the constitution to give ultimatum to “illegal residents” in the state’s forests.
According to him, it is the duty of the governor as the chief security officer of the state to protect the lives and property of residents in the state.
Akeredolu had, on Monday, given a seven-day ultimatum to herders to vacate the forests in the state. The development has been generating ripples in the polity with the Presidency describing his decision as inflammatory.
But in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, Aare Adams said the presidency’s reaction through a statement by Mr. Garba Shehu failed to address the security situation across the country.
The Yoruba leader described Garba Shehu’s statement as a threat to the sanctity of the state and a deliberate attempt to work against the state government’s interest, especially, on issue of security.
Aare Gani Adams said though the reserved forests are some of the heritages of the federal government, they are under the jurisdiction of the state government .
“Garba Shehu/Presidency apparently doesn’t know the meaning of reserved forests. It’s not accessible except to authorized personnel/loggers. Apart from the place being a place for valued cash trees, it’s also meant as a haven of safety for protected animals against poachers. The herdsmen living in the forest are not only unauthorized, they would likely cut down trees to make fires and must also kill animals for food”.
“A reserved forest is not a place of residence for anyone, not even Ondo indigenes or farmers. It is most unfortunate that such a statement is coming directly from the presidency, who according to the constitution, has the prerogative to protect the lives and property of citizens in the country now looking for ways to foil the good plans and intentions of the state government to get rid of the bad elements that are masquerading as herders and pastorists in the state.