The Director General of the Oyo State Mineral Development Agency (OYSMDA), Abiodun Oni, has called on village heads, hunters, farmers and other residents of the state to report any suspicious mining activity in their localities to his agency.
Oni gave this charge when he conducted an on-the-spot assessment visit to the controversial illegal mining site at Odo Ogun village in Ido Local Government Area, Ibadan.
He restated the determination of the Governor ‘Seyi Makinde-led administration to sanitise the solid mineral sector, saying that it will be a continuous excersise “because the governor is very passionate about expanding the state’s economy through the abundant opportunities in the sector.”
According to the OYSMDA boss, the agency has been collaborating with security agencies on the investigation of some mining companies colluding with some traditional rulers to shortchange the people in mineral-holding communities and the state government.
The DG maintained that prior to this time, the state government through the Agency had cautioned all stakeholders to stop the act of conspiring with illegal miners.
Specifically, he noted, there are two Baales and one king as well as two mining companies involved in the ongoing investigation, adding that once the ongoing investigation is concluded, the government will either prosecute or let go of the suspected individuals.
He said: “It’s time to put an end to the pilfering of our commonwealth, no matter the class of person or persons found guilty of the illegal mining act, they will face the wrath of the law.
“You would have noticed the determination of His Excellency, Governor Makinde, towards growing Oyo State’s economy through solid mineral development. This commitment was also recently demonstrated when he signed the Executive Order on the security of mining communities.
“We will stop at nothing to rid this state of illegal mining activities, but government needs the people to achieve this objective and that is why we always say that if you see something, say something.
“Hunters, village heads, farmers and every other citizen that suspect any act of mining in their community/village should do well to inform the Agency and on our part, we will protect the identity of all informants.”