Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said that the state would establish forestry protection force to protect its forest reserves from banditry and kidnapping in the state.
He said the force became necessary as the forest reserves have been illegally converted to bases for banditry, kidnappings and other nefarious activities.
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Governor Obaseki disclosed this while flagging-off 10 million tree planting programmes at Upper Sokponba Forest Reserve in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state.
He said he is committed to the security of lives and property of its citizens, by ensuring that kidnappings, armed robbery, land grabbing and other criminal activities are reduced to the barest minimum.
According to him, the essence of the tree planting programme was due to environmental degradation arising from adverse weather conditions and threat to livelihoods.
He said his administration is collaborating with the private sector and communities to regenerate degraded and depleted forest reserves in the state for environmental sustainability.