Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN, on Saturday, said that the forum and the traditional rulers in the region supported the decision of the National Economic Council (NEC) that state governments have statutory jurisdiction over forest reserves.
The Governor said the support for NEC’s decision on forest management was part of the resolutions of the Governors in the Southwest and the traditional rulers in region at a meeting held at the Oyo State Governor’s office, Agodi, Ibadan.
Governor Akeredolu who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said the meeting also deliberated on the continued porous borders in the country, stressing that there is an urgent need to tighten security at the borders so as to prevent foreign herders from coming into the country with their herds.
At the meeting were the host Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, Governors of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola and their Ogun State counterpart, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Traditional rulers at the meeting include;Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan Obateru, Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Salisu Adetunji and the representative of the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Michael Adeniyi Sonariwo.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr. David Folawiyo and heads of other security agencies in Oyo State and the Southwest were also present at the meeting.
Governor Akeredolu who said the meeting was supposed to be held with the Chief of Staff to the President and the Heads security, regretted that they could not fly down to Ibadan from Abuja due to unfavorable weather condition.
“The meeting with Governors of Southwest and Obas in Southwest was to be held with the Chief of Staff to the President and Heads of security in the country. The meeting was called by the Chief of Staff but unfortunately the Chief of Staff and the Heads of Security agencies have been at the airport in Abuja for long until they have to resign to fate following the fact that the weather could not allow them to fly. The weather was not favorable for them to fly. They got across to us and apologized “Governor Akeredolu explained.
He said the Governors and the Traditional rulers in the Southwest have met and had a productive discussion, adding that the traditional rulers spoke on more mature approach to the challenges facing the region and the country at large.
Governor Akeredolu said:”We believe that the time is now for government to support cattle breeding. One of the ways to support cattle breeding is to change the ways and means the cattle breeders are adopting now.
“We must have ranches. We agreed that the issues that are encouraging open grazing in this modern time must be looked into by the state and the federal government.
“And that just like government has been supporting farmers, government must also fashion out ways of supporting animal husbandry.”
Arakunrin Akeredolu disclosed that the meeting also focused on the need to stop fake news, calling on journalists to assist the Governors and the country by practicing responsible journalism.
“We zeroed in on the issue of fake news. And that you need to assist us, as journalists, and assist the country. When there is a political clash , you don’t say it’s herdsmen clash. Journalists have a duty to practice responsible journalism. You know what fake news did to us during #Endsars. Fake news will not help us . It will pour Petrol in the fire.” Governor Akeredolu said.