By Israel Afolabi
The Osun State House of Assembly has read riot act over the poor attitudes of Forest Guards towards the forest protection in the state.
Chairman, House Committee on Environment and Sanitation, Honourable Ajibola Akinloye conveyed the dissatisfaction of the parliament during a stakeholders’ meeting between his committee and officials of Forestry Department of the Ministry of Natural and Mineral Resources.
The chairman who hinted that the meeting was called due to the allegation of fraud leveled against the Guards in various forests across the state, said that they were invited to clear the air on the issue involving them and timber contractors and fletchers.
Warning that the Assembly would not hesitate to deal with any forest Guard found to have violated his rules of engagement, he charged them to change their attitude towards the protection of forests in the state.
Other members of the committee, Honourables Debo Akanbi, Gbadebo Ibrahim, Akinola Adufe, Olaolu Oyeniran, Yemi Taiwo, and Clement Akanni urged the guards to be conscious of their jobs and change their behaviours.
They charged the guards to work together as a team to fight timber theft and Fletcher to obtain proper documents before engaging in tree felling.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Natural and Mineral Resources, Mr Tunde Ajilore lamented on the position of forestry across the state which he described as a disadvantage to the state, due to forest guards’ habits, saying, if the forests are properly managed, it would earn the state huge sum of revenue on monthly basis.
Ajilore alleged that forest guards have connived with fletchers to cut economic trees in the various forests without proper permits which, he said has done more harm to government.
The Director of Forestry in the ministry, Dr. Bibilari Henry lamented on the encroachment problem in the state, which he described as a long time problem, saying that at as of now, there is no boundary guide for the various forest in the state.