This study provides an ex-ante analysis and broad contour on the politics of forest governance in south-western Nigeria. Since the transfer of forest management from the local communities to the state, there has been an increased illegal logging and out-of-control rate of deforestation. Infact, the adoption of decentralisation policy, has only existed in theory while in reality, it has manifested in the garb of recentralisation. Hence, the original concept of 'local forest', involving social relations is now political forest that entails power relations and struggle. Using a qualitative technique for data collection, which involves social, cultural, historical and political factors in Osun, Ogun and Ondo states, where forest reserves are located, this study examines the challenges of local communities, the reason for the state taking-over, the operation of decentralisation, the functions of each tier of government and the possibility of operating the governance of forest from the local level.