By Joshua Dada
Osogbo — Osun State government has closed two of its forest reserves located in Irewole and Isokan local government areas over alleged sharp practices by members of plank sellers association in the state.
Prince Tunde Ajilore, special adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Forestry, Natural and Mineral Reserves, who made this known to newsmen in Osogbo, said the closure was to ensure that loopholes are blocked and some illegal operations in the forest, checked.
According to him, some members of plank seller associations, have continued to shortchange the state, and adversely rub the state ofmillions of naira of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR.
“The government has had a series of meetings with members of the association in the affected regions and at the end of the meetings, the miscreants still default and truncate the peace meetings.”
The SA further explained that the plank sellers have continued to attack some wood sellers in the market. The attacks, he said, has led to the intervention of security agencies on several occasions.
Ajilore noted that until there is a productive dialogue and members of the plank sellers association show remorse over their illegal acts and also comply with the laws of the state, the government would not hesitate to dealt with anyone found wanting.
In the same vein, Mrs Yemisi Adetipe, the state task force officer in the ministry, reiterated the SA’s stance, adding that the plank sellers are really short-changing the government.
According to her, those who prefer to break the laws of the land and willingly decide to continue with their illegalities, would not escape the wrath of the law.
Adetipe said the primary responsibility of the ministry was to mobilise revenue for the state in order to boast its IGR.
She therefore called on stakeholders in the sector to be calm, as the state government was on-top of the situation.