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Abiodun Warns Traditional Rulers Against Selling Government Land

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L-R: Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; Ogun State Deputy Governor, Engr (Mrs) Noimot Salako-Oyedele; the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun; Chairman, Ogun State Council of Obas and Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi and the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, during the Statutory Meeting of the Ogun State Council of Obas, at the Obas’s Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, on Monday.

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Monday alleged that some traditional rulers have been found selling lands belonging to the state government.

He warned that his administration would take disciplinary action against any person found selling land in its forest reserves and plantation across the state.

Governor Abiodun stated this at the Statutory Meeting of the state’s Council of Obas, held at the Oba’s Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

He described the actions of the people, including some Obas who sell government land, as unpatriotic.

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.”

Governor Abiodun who intimated the monarchs of his administration’s efforts at bringing in more investors to invest in the State, said the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the Ogun State Dry Port at Kajola would be signed between the state government and a private investor before the end of the year, while discussions on the use of the Cargo Airport by Beninoise investors had been held with that country’s President.

“It means in Ogun State, we will now have a dry port that will now enable all of us, including our industries and manufacturers, to now ship their goods from anywhere in the world to Kajola. This Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between now and Christmas.

“Last week, I met with the President of Benin Republic. He shared with me the fact that the government of Benin Republic has heard so much about our airport, sent delegates and determined as a government that they want to be the first customer to export from our airport.

“They have decided that all their agro produce will be brought down from Benin Republic to our airport and will be exported to the rest of the world from our airport.”

On his administration plan for the health sector, the governor noted that the state government has decided to concession the 250-bed hospital in Abeokuta.

According to the governor, the state does not have the capacity to run the hospital, hence the decision to allow others to handle its day to day activities.

“We are going to be signing the Memorandum of Understanding on the 250 Bed Hospital right here in Abeokuta.

“We realize that the state will not be able to run that hospital because as it is, our tertiary hospital, OOUTH, costs the state almost N300 million every month in salaries alone. We appreciate the fact that the state is not in a position to run that hospital the way it needs to be run.

“From what we have seen and done, if that hospital is properly run, medical tourism will be attracted to that hospital.

“So, the state has adopted a template that we will be the landlord owning that property, and others should come and take the concession of that property and run it professionally.

“Before the end of the year, we are also signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the Afrexim Bank and the medical group that has agreed to take over that hospital, complete it and operationlize it professionally,” he added.

Prince 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.

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