The Oyo State Government has described rumours making rounds that it has allocated Agodi Botanical Gardens to a proposed Housing Estate, as baseless and untrue.
The Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Williams Akin Funmilayo said that mischief makers are trying to bring the State Government into an unnecessary distraction and nullify the laudable
achievements recorded so far.
He disclosed further that the Government values reforestation and afforestation, and as such, would not convert Agodi gardens into a residential Estate.
He added that the large expanse of land to be converted to Baywood Estate does not include the Agodi Botanical Gardens.
The Commissioner also said the State Government has plans to upgrade the garden to an international standard, such that it will compete with other botanical gardens across the globe.
Therefore, Akin- Funmilayo re-echoed that the Governor did not give any order to his office for the conversion of Agodi Gardens to Housing Estate.
He recalled that the Agodi Botanical Gardens was created in the year 1967, but was destroyed by the Ogunpa flood disaster in 1980 by the raging water but got renovated in 2012 and reopened in 2014 as a tourist attraction in the ancient city of Ibadan.
He therefore said the garden is a lasting legacy, which the present administration will never joke with, adding that the Seyi Makinde led administration will not leave any stone unturned in making Oyo State an habitable place for all.
The Commissioner implored the general public to disregard any rumor on the sales of Agodi Gardens, assuring that the proposed Baywood Estate by Government will not encroach into Agodi Gardens.
“The reason why Government is intending to convert the forest to Housing Estate is to make the place more secure, as the place is a death zone that serves as harbour to many criminals where many innocent lives have been lost”, he said.
He also said, “Anybody that is in doubt of what the Government wants to do around that corridor should come to the Ministry for further clarifications.”
“We therefore call on the public to disregard any information related to the conversion of Agodi Botanical Gardens to an estate, as the Government is determined to protect public places in the best interest of its citizens and residents of the State”.