Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Tuesday said the state government will soon commence the recruitment and training of new forest guards to protect the state’s vast forest and fish out criminals who are using the forest as hideouts.

Governor Akeredolu said the move was part of the strategies to secure the state from criminals who are terrorising the good people of the State, using the forest as cover.

Arakunrin Akeredolu dropped the hint while receiving members of the National Association of Forestry on a courtesy visit to his office In Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital. They were led by Prof. Adeola Adetokunbo.

The governor said the challenges encountered on forestry is beyond those felling trees illegally, but to fish out criminal elements who are taking shield in the forest.

He also expressed the readiness of his administration to set up a committee to understudy the community based forest management system, which was proposed by the visiting Forestry Association.

Arakunrin Akeredolu, who said the development of the forestry is so keen to his administration, stressed that the government is committed to putting an end to illegal felling of trees in government reserves.

He said his administration is planning on identification of every tree by using the drone technology to do the delination of trees in government forest reserves.

The governor said due to the lean resources at government’ disposal, the best way to develop the forest is to engage in Public Private Partnership or full private partnership.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Prof. Adetokunbo said the association is ready to partner with the state government to make huge success.

He said the association is interested in a sane forest reserve so as to save and protect the common heritage of the people.