The Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria has denounced the alleged illegal activities of loggers in the Omo Forest Reserve J4 in the Ijebu-East Local Government Area of Ogun state.
The institute said the illegal activities included deforestation and crimes against wildlife in the forest reserve.
The representative of the director general of the institute, Dr. Tayo Oyelowo, reached out to journalists about the activities of the illegal loggers, warning that the reserve would soon be part of another seven doomed forest reserves in the state unless drastic steps were taken to curb the illegal logging activities.
Oyelowo, a referee for the Nigerian Biosphere Reserve and researcher at the institute, said the institute had received many reports of illegal activity in the Omo Forest Reserve.
He complained that the institute had informed the state government about the Ministry of Forestry, but that there was no difference.
He said: “I am here this morning to represent the Director General of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, who is also a focus of the Map National Committee in Nigeria and is chairman of the Map International Coordinating Council and chairs the mapping and biotech program of the UNESCO worldwide.
“We have received various reports of illegal activity in the Omo Forest Reserve related to illegal activities by loggers. The director general of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria notified the governor of the state.
“I also wrote a letter in July this year and the governor, on behalf of the state forestry commissioner, promised to stop the illegal activities, but unfortunately a man named Tutu Ajayi was recently arrested in the biosphere reserve.
“It will be of the greatest interest to know that this perpetrator, who was arrested with guns, ammunition, cutlass and machetes, will not be released without justice. I want to say that this should not be taken lightly. The Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria has an interest in this and if this case is treated as it should be it would act as a deterrent for others to ensure that the place is well and completely protected. ”
Some leaders and members saw millers’ association and contractors from Ijebuland had protested the release of the ring leader of the syndicate of illegal activities on the reservation.