The running battle between the Edo State government and illegal timber merchants on Wednesday yielded the desired result as the state Police Command intercepted over 2,000 logs at the Gelegele seaport in Ovia North East local government area of the state. Spokesperson of the Command, Bello Kontongs, superintendent of police, SP, said at seaport that the police were carrying out the mandate of the state governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Kontongs said on sighting the Marine Police, the criminals escaped by jumping into the river. He disclosed that the logs were being shipped to Lagos for onward transmission to other parts of the world, adding that the logs that were intercepted in Ondo State would be sent back to Edo.
According to him, “At the sea port here are the logs of wood seized from illegal loggers. The seizure was done after Governor Obaseki gave the order to the Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, to arrest and check the activities of these criminals. The state government has banned the felling of trees in the 49 forest reserves in the state. The woods are being taken illegally to all parts of the world which the state government is against. The forest reserves are for the benefit of all Edo People. The level of deforestation is high which is not to the benefit of everyone.
“Also, the illegal activities of the loggers are impacting negatively on wildlife, while the logs recovered will be handed over to the state government by the CP in due course.
The seized logs are not just from Gelegele, but from all the forests in the state. Some have already crossed to Ondo, and we are working with the Marine Police in Ondo to recover the logs”.
Kontongs warned criminal elements to desist from their illegal activities as the state would be too hot for them to operate.
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