From: Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Seven suspected illegal miners have been arrested by the Osun State Government for illicit gold mining activities.
The suspects were nabbed in Itagunmodi community in Atakumosa West Local Government Area of the state while carrying out the illegal activities at some farm lands and cocoa plantations
Special Adviser to the Governor on Mineral and Natural Resources, Tunde Ajilore, accompanied by some men and officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC ) had stormed the community where illegal gold miners carry out the illicit business with impunity and continue to cause serious devastations to the farm lands and cocoa plantations.
While parading the suspects whose identities were yet-to-be disclosed at the time of filing this report, Ajilore said that the state government’s effort to curb the activities of illegal miners underscored the importance of a structured biometric database of miners in the state.
While describing the damage done to the mining sites as too enormous, Ajilore lamented that the activities of the miners amounted to economic sabotage.
He warned that the state government would not rest on its oars in the efforts to curb illegal mining in the state, with a view to bringing culprits to book.
“As a state, what we are saying is that there is need for us to know how many miners are here. A landlord who does not know how many people is feeding will surely run bankrupt,” Ajilore said.
“For the past three months, we closed the bush in order to appropriate and know the number of people that operate at the mining site. That is why we requested them to come for biometric so as to know their number. We were able to register about 6,000 miners within one and half month,” he added.
Ajilore however stressed government’s poise to resist all forms of illegal mining in the state, as it would go the whole hog to bring perpetrators to book in a bid to restore sanity to the system.
The Osun State Commandant of the NSCDC, Mr. Aboluwaye Akinwande, said investigations were ongoing to arrest more suspects.
He assured that any suspects found culpable would be charged to court.
“Our next action is to conduct a preliminary investigation, then ensure we follow it up before charging them to court.”
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