By Onwuka Gerald
The Ondo State Government on Wednesday, said no herdsman can graze on the forest reserves in the state without authorized approval.
The disclosure was made known by the State Commissioner for Agricultural and Rural Development, Adegboyega Adefarati.
According to him, “More than 50,000 farmers have been registered to engage in various agricultural activities in state’s forest reserves, saying that no herder will be allowed to graze without going through due procedures and registration.
Recall that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had given herdsmen a seven-day ultimatum to vacate the forest reserves in the state.
Akeredolu insisted that criminal elements who have infiltrated the ranks of the Fulani herdsmen have turned the forest reserves into kidnapping den.
Following that, the Presidency had on Tuesday defended the right of the herders to dwell anywhere they wish to in the country, saying Akeredolu cannot oust thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on basis on criminal elements in the forest.
Meanwhile, in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Ondo State Government Forest Reserves Policies And Regulation’, the state agriculture commissioner reiterated that it remains illegal for herdsmen to trespass on the state-owned forest reserves.
“50,000 thousand farmers that engage in different forms of agricultural activities in Ondo State Government Forest Reserves have been registered and with this, we can easily regulate their activities and reduce criminality in the state.
“No activity either hunting, planting crops and animal rearing can be done in Ondo State Forest Conservation without permission”, the statement concluded.