Gani Adams, an influential son of the Yoruba race is tutoring the presidency on forest reserves.
Mr Adams, a leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), in a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Aderemi, described as unfortunate the outburst of the presidency with regards to the decision of Ondo State government to regulate herdsmen in its domain.
Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo had earlier in the week ordered herders residing in bushes to either register with the state government or vacate forests reserves in the state.
He said the action became necessary due to testimonials from kidnap victims who are said to be using the forests for their criminal activities. The presidency in a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, kicked against the 7-day ultimatum to herders saying the governor lacked such powers.
But in the Friday statement, Adams said it was unfortunate that the Muhammadu Buhari led presidency is oblivious of the definition of forest reserves.
“Garba Shehu/Presidency apparently doesn’t know the meaning of reserved forests. It’s not accessible except to authorised personnel/loggers. Apart from the place being a place for valued cash trees, it’s also meant as a haven of safety for protected animals,” the statement reads.
“Herdsmen living in the forest are not only unauthorised, they would likely fell trees to make fire, and also kill animals for food.
“A reserved forest is not a place of residence for anyone, not even Ondo indigenes or farmers. It is most unfortunate that such a statement is coming directly from the presidency, which, according to the constitution, has the prerogative to protect the lives and property of citizens. But it is a pity the presidency now looks for ways to foil the good plans and intentions of the state to rid bad elements masquerading as herders and pastoralists.
“I am from Akoko North West in Ondo State; all our reserved forests have been taken over by these illegal residents. So, the governor’s decision is in the right direction and in the state’s interest. I call on all Yoruba sons and daughters to support governors in the Southwest in their fight against insurgency across the region,” he added.