The Ogun State Commissioner for Forestry, Hon. Tunji Akinosi has explained why a N20million worth of bridge being built by some unknown persons in a government forest reserve must be demolished.
Akinosi revealed that the illegal construction site was discovered in 2018 by the immediate past administration of Former Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
Akinosi said the last administration had stopped the construction of the bridge at the time.
However, it appeared those behind the project have since returned to site to continue the work, prompting the present government of Governor Dapo Abiodun to take a more stringent measure.
We can recall that Akinosi had on Saturday ordered the demolition of the illegal bridge, which is under construction across Oluwa river, linking Omo Forest in Area J4 to a village in Ondo State.
The State government said that some illegal loggers had donated money to put the 50-metre bridge in place so as to aid illegal felling of trees and to ease transportation of same to neighbouring states.
The decision to destroy the bridge has been generating reactions from Nigerians, who suggested that the state government should use it for something else.
In a chat with our correspondent on Sunday, Hon. Akinosi, on behalf of the management and staff of the state Ministry of Forestry, said he appreciated all interests and comments about “the illegalities going on in our forest reserves.”
According to him, “the construction of the bridge in question did not just start.”
“It started sometime in 2017 and was stopped in 2018 by the immediate past government,” Akinosi confirmed.
The Commissioner maintained that, “If there should be a link in the forest to join Ogun and Ondo states together, the governments of both states will construct same.
“This illegal link is the handiwork of illegal loggers and criminals aimed at turning the reserve to a den for illegality.
“Moreover, there are already several other approved links that joins Ogun and Ondo states together.”
Asked if it would not be better to block the bridge and put serious security measures in place for monitoring, Akinosi retorted:
“The distance from the entrance of the reserve at J4 to Laagan where the bridge is located is about 6hrs. It will be hard to monitor.
“Moreover, the criminals will take us serious if decisive actions are taken swiftly.”