South-west Governors rose from a meeting last night in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, affirming their control over forest reserves in their respective states.
They said their position is in tandem with the decision of the National Economic Council on ownership and control of forest reserves.
At the high-powered security meeting held at Oyo State Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan were traditional rulers and security officers.
The Chairman of the South-west Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who spoke on behalf of the governors said the governors restated that they would take charge of the reserves.
Akeredolu had about two weeks ago given the Fulani in the forest reserves in Ondo one week ultimatum to quit the area.
But taking issues with him, Bauchi State Governor Bala Muhammed said the Fulani were free to ply their trade anywhere in the country and that land belonged to both states and the Federal Government.
He also said the Fulani herders were carrying AK 47 in order to defend themselves.
The South-west Governors’ meeting, which started at about 3 pm, had in attendance Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Mr. Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Mr. Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) and the host governor – Mr Seyi Makinde (Oyo).
Among the traditional rulers currently participating were the Ooni of Ife – Oba Enitan Ogunwusi; Alaafin of Oyo – Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Akarigbo of Remo – Oba Babatunde Ajayi; Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom – Oba Fredrick Akinrutan; Olubadan of Ibadan – Oba Saliu Adetunji, and Olugbon of Orilegbon – Oba Francis Alao.
The Deputy Inpector-General of Police in charge of the South-west- Mr David Folawuyo, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, and other heads of security agencies in Oyo state were also in attendance.
The Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari – Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; Inspector-General of Police – Mohammed Adamu and the Director-General of the DSS – Yusuf Bishi who were expected at the meeting couldn’t make the journey due to bad weather.