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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Protect us from miners, Osun monarch cries out

By Michael Ofulue , Osogbo.

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A traditional ruler in Osun state, the Onikimo of Ikimo-Ijesa, Oba Ojo Babatunde Peter has cried out to the Federal and Osun State governments to urgently intervene and halt mining activities that have been causing environmental degradation in the entire Ijesha land.

The monarch, said that mining activities going on in the Ikimo and other parts of Ijesha land have grossly affected the well-being of the residents and environment.

He spoke while fielding questions from reporters about the problem caused by miners in his domain.

According to the community leader, the miners have consistently been refusing to restore the land back to its original place by covering the dug portion saying it is dangerous for motorists and residents in the affected areas

The traditional ruler disclosed that mining activities were taking place around the major road linking Idoka, Ikimo and Ijana communities which left a deep pit that has made it difficult for commuters to use the road.

His words, “In late 2020, up to early 2021, mining activity was done on the major road linking three communities together, when they finished, they didn’t cover the pit that was dug. Since then, that road has been bad. Vehicle cannot ply the road, people cannot take that route to their farm and it has been extremely horrible for farmers to continue farming in their respective farmland, thereby hampering their source of livelihood.

” To our surprise, another company using the approved license of Sandplex International is currently operating under the same license to mine gold. If that gold mining should continue, it would be of extreme danger to the community.”

Stressing how detrimental the mining activity could be, the royal father stated that the mining site is directly beneath a power line which shouldn’t be  because of the high volatility level.

He added, “The company has channeled water to pass under the power line and we know how dangerous this is. It would be worse if they start digging the same portion of land that had been dug previously.

“I am surprised that  government could give approval for mining to take place in such a location. I even reported to the Mining Cadastral Office in Osogbo, an environmental officer came to inspect and said they will look into it, but nothing has happened since”.

Oba Peter appealed to the government to take action to nip the issue on the bud by coming to the aid of the residents of the areas.

Complaining about the mining activities, a resident of a neighboring community who prayed not to be named, explained that if that particular mining activity should continue, it will affect the power transmission line which has a live wire, saying that can cause a lot of damage.

The resident noted that some illegal mining had been done previously where an electricity pole was affected and the neighboring community Iregun, was yet to have electricity since then.

She also called on the government to urgently take action in the interest of the people, noting that the continuous mining activities has not been of benefit to the people.

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