No Going Back on Conversion of Agodi Forest to Housing Estate – Makinde

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Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has said his administration will not review its decision on the conversion of Agodi forest to housing estate.

Governor Makinde stated this during an end-of-the-year Media Chat hosted by the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS).

The Governor said those agitating against the move were ill-advised, noting that the decision would benefit the state economically and in the area of security.

He said, “You want to talk of global warming; you want to talk of deforestation. Yes, it is fine. But I learnt there is some money for environmental activists at the United Nations, well if it is because of the money that they are agitating, I urge them to calm down and let us look at the numbers.

What is the place of 425 square kilometres, which is the size of the forest, in the grand scheme of 28,000 square kilometres, which is the land size of the entire state? If they are saying we should not cut down any tree, how do we balance development?

“They are saying we should not cut down any tree; do they know how many trees this administration has planted? On the first section of the Circular Road that we are constructing, the first phase of 32 kilometres towards Badeku Village, we have asked that trees be planted to demarcate that place.

Anyone agitating may have their points, but they should not pollute the environment and make the government’s decision look so bad because they are looking for personal gains.”

He told the chairmen of Local Governments and Local Council Development Authorities sacked during his first term of office to desist from trying to destabilise the state.

The governor maintained that the sacked chairmen had been using all underhand methods to distract his government and hurt the people of the state, noting, however, that they will not succeed.

According to the governor, the ex-LG chairmen had been forum shopping for all kinds of court processes, but he had kept his focus, adding that the government would now go after the embattled chairmen lawfully with a view to ensuring that they account for their deeds.

Governor Makinde also expressed certainty that his administration would leave behind strong institutions, including the ones he set up such as the Oyo State Security Network codenamed Amotekun, Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency (OYACA), Oyo State Mobilisation Agency for Social Education Development, (OMASED), the Rule of Law Enforcement Authority, which were set up to bring order into the state.

He added that a proper orientation would be given to the people of the state before the implementation and enforcement of the rule of law in 2024.

The governor appreciated the people for standing by his administration, just as he pleaded with them for more support as “the government continues to execute and implement policies that will be in the best interest of the people.

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