The governor of Ogun state Dapo Abiodun on Monday accused traditional rulers of selling government-owned land.
Governor Abiodun who stated this on Monday at the Statutory Meeting of the state’s Council of Obas, held at the Oba’s Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta warned that his administration would take disciplinary action against any person found selling land in its forest reserves and plantation across the state.
Describing the actions of the Obas as disloyal, Abiodun reminded the monarchs of his administration’s efforts at bringing in more investors to invest in the State.
He said: “We will continue to seek your support in the area of lands. Sadly, cases have been reported to us here in Abeokuta about some of our monarchs who have taken upon themselves to allocate government land, government forest reserve, plantations to others. They’ve been allocating and selling government lands.
“I have found this very difficult to believe. I consider this extremely unpatriotic that our monarchs will now begin to allocate such lands to others, and worse still, in some of the areas, the land is being allocated to non-Ogun State indigenes
“Our Kabiyesis are colluding with people from outside Ogun State and give our land to them in our plantations and they are coming there, deforesting them. They are destroying the plantation. They are planting Indian Hemp there. I was completely heartbroken when I heard this news, and when we actually verified, it was true.
“As a responsible state government, we will not have any choice but to take disciplinary action against any person found culpable of such an act; any person, be it Kabiyesi or any person.
“Because this land does not belong to me, it doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to our collective patrimony; it is our collective property that we own as a state. It is our commonwealth, and we should endeavour to ensure that we do not engage in such acts like this capable of tarnishing the image of the royalty and the throne.”
Abiodun expressed gratitude to the Obas for their support during and after the governorship election.
He called on them to continue partnering the government in the area of security by providing intelligence report that would help security agencies to perform optimally for the socio-economic development of the state.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Ganiyu Hamzat, acknowledged the partnership between the state government and the traditional institution that has brought about peace at the grassroots, calling on them to continue to support government in bringing development to every parts of the state.
The Chairman, Ogun State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, lauded the state government for its developmental stride in all parts of the state, appreciating the governor for his magnanimity to the traditional institution.