BY TIMOTHY AGBOR
The Osun State Government has raised alarm over activities of some illegal operators stopping revenue collection activities, hijacking state land and frustrating lawful operations of officials of the state government.
“The illegal operators who parade themselves as ‘Federal Monitoring’ patrol forest reserves belonging to the Osun State Government and prevent state officials from conducting lawful businesses of generating revenues,” a statement issued on Monday night by Kolapo Alimi, Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment in the state said.
“We are concerned to note that these brazen and illegal activities have the backing of some compromised security agents who are obviously providing cover for them.
“A recent experience lends credence to this as the illegal operators invaded a property of the Osun State Government in Asejire with some mobile policemen, launching vicious attack on state officials at the control post and hitting one of them on the foot with a bullet shot.
“in a related development , an alleged federal group has invaded and occupied lands around Owalla dams bulldozing the areas around the dams without any authorisation
“The group, when confronted, claimed to be acting on the directive of an unnamed federal group.
“It is to be noted that the land and the area are being managed by the water corporation.
“These incursions are quite crude, unconstitutional and unacceptable. As a Government, we strongly condemn the violence visited on state officials while discharging their lawful duties by illegal operators with the active participation of some compromised security agents.
“We call on the Police authority to fish out officers involved in this despicable act that threatens not just the peace of Osun state but also its economic stability.
“We also alert Mr President on the unhealthy development suspectedly being encouraged by some operatives of the opposition All Progressive Congress.
“It is important that we point out that the lands around the Owalla dams are being managed by the Water Corporation, putting the question on ownership beyond any doubt.
“The State Government has concluded plans to develop the dams area as a hinterland beach resort, and as such, unlock the economic benefits of the natural asset for the state.
“This is why we find it troubling that any group under whatever guise will want to appropriate what belongs to the people of Osun State. We warn that nothing will stop us from safeguarding the lawful assets of the Osun people.
“It is for this reason that we call on the relevant federal agencies to look into the activities of their agents in Osun state and ensure that they do not involve themselves in illegality or economic sabotage of Osun state.
“While:we are ready as a state to cooperate with any Federal Government Agencies for the betterment of Osun citizenry, we sternly warn against the encroachment of assets belonging to the State Government as we will be willing to take every necessary action to keep every asset of the state away from abuse,” he stated.