By Israel Afolabi
The State of Osun House of Assembly has called on officials of Ministry of Environment and Sanitation to seek a peaceful means of settling the imminent crisis breeding between its officials and farmers at Mokore Farm settlement.
It urged the Ministry to sustain the lawmakers directive to stop logging activities at the farm settlement pending the resolution of issues at stake.
Speaker of the state parliament, Dr Najeem Salaam made the call through the Chairman House Committee on Agriculture and Food Security, Hon Gbadebo Abdullahi at the House of Assembly Complex Osogbo while meeting with the officials of the Ministry.
He urged members of Mokore Cooperative farm settlement to remain calm as the House is on top of the situation to ensure resolution of the dispute.
According to him, “it is better to dialogue on all difficult issues to achieve peace with the parties involved and we all have to focus on peace and progress of our state”.
Hon Gbadebo counseled the officials to use diplomacy in implementing government policies to avoid conflict while using the medium to appeal to the warring parties to sit together and fashion out solution to the lingering issues.
It would be recalled that members of the Mokore Cooperative Farm Settlement had in a petition to the House protested against destruction of their Cocoa plants caused by felling of trees in their farms resulting to the legislature issuing an order stopping logging activities in the farm.
Hon. Gbadebo also recalled the meeting with the farmers just as he cited the petition in which they explained their grievances.
He acknowledged the financial support rendered especially to Cocoa farmers by the state government which has been yielding result, saying it is unthinkable that an agency of the same government will embark on destructive tendency under the guise of revenue generation.
He said “the meeting with the officials becomes imperative so as to address the grievances and forestall the likelihood of threat to peace”.
While reacting to submissions by officials, he directed them to go and consult further among themselves so as to know the actual responsibility expected of each and report back to the House of Assembly soonest.
Earlier, the officials have taken turns to explain the matter noting areas of contention as they gave insight to the genesis of the problem.
In their separate explanation, Special Adviser to the Governor on Forestry, Mr. Gbemileke Ayobami, Director of Forestry Mr Dauda Arisekola and General Manager Agriculture Services Mr Ayo Akinromade lamented on the mismanagement of the forest.