Illegal mining activities worries ODHA

By Josephine Oguntoyinbo

Ondo State House of Assembly has raised concerns about the activities of illegal miners in the State.

The lawmakers made their position known following a petition written to the House by the paramount ruler and Jegun of Ile-Oluji, Oba Oluwole Adetimehin on the invasion of the community by miners.

Reading the petition on the floor of the House during plenary, the lawmaker representing  Ile-Oluji/ Okeigbo constituency, Mr Nelson Akinsuroju said the activities of illegal miners in the area posed a threat to the lives of the  people .

The Speaker of the House, Olamide Oladiji who read the resolution of the House at a plenary under a matter of urgent public importance over the invasion of illegal miners and destruction of communities in the state, charged relevant agencies at the federal level to work closely with the state in checkmating the activities of illegal miners.

Mr. Akinsuroju expressed displeasure that upon confrontation, these miners displayed permits and licenses obtained from the federal government and were carrying out their activities with flagrant to the lives and property of the people in the community.

According to them, a monitoring unit should be set up by the state for proper monitoring as well as to identify miners with licenses and fish out the illegal ones.

The House, therefore, directed the House Committee on Mineral Resources to embark on an oversight function to the area to ascertain the causes, and possible solutions and report back to the House.

The House equally directed the Chairman House Committee on Information to issue a press release on the issue while the citizens should endeavor to report the illegal activities of miners to the appropriate quarters.

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The Speaker of the House, Oladiji emphasized that the state would not condone illegal miners hence, all licenses being tendered must be scrutinized to ascertain their authenticity,

noting that anyone arrested would face the full weight of the law.

During the debate, a lawmaker representing  Odigbo constituency, Tunji Ifabiyi noted that in as much as some of these miners already had federal government approval, it was uncalled for when the farms of the communities were being ravaged without the consent of the farmers.

In the word of the lawmaker representing Ilaje Constituency 2 Princess Olawunmi Fayemi, there must be a synergy between the State and Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals to bridge the communication gap.

On his part, Dr Christopher Ogunlana of the Irele constituency requested that the House Committee on Mineral Resources carry out an on-the-spot investigation especially at Ile-Oluji to assess the activities and damages caused by illegal miners.

Majority leader of the House, Mr Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi stressed that despite mining being under the executive list of the federal government, all miners operating in Ondo State must be registered to checkmate their activities and control the wanton damages to host communities.

In its resolution, the house called on security operatives to work closely with the traditional rulers to arrest those found culpable and put at bay the menace.

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