Seventeen Chinese nationals have been arrested in Osun State for alleged illegal mining actvities
The Chinese were arrested alongside a traditional chief and 9 locals by the Osun Joint Task Force charged with fighting assorted crimes.
They were arrested following a coordinated sting operation around Ilesa and Ife axis of the state.
Speaking on the development, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the State Governor, Abdullahi Binuyo, said that no responsible government will fold its arms and watch its land being degraded by unauthorised persons.
He noted that aside the economic leakages, the illegal activities of the miners had also polluted the environment, particularly Osun River making it unsafe for both human consumption and irrigation.
“Aside the economic leakages, the illegal miners have also polluted the Osun River with poisonous metals, thereby making it unsafe for human consumption and irrigation.
“We intend to prosecute them and also make sure they pay compensation.
“As part of the government’s economic reforms, solid mineral is a major sector we are exploring. For these reforms to work, it has become imperative to stop illegal mining and step up enforcement activities. The result is what we are witnessing today.
“These people neither have genuine mining licenses nor are they registered with the government.
“What they claim to have is Exploration Licences; that does not permit them to mine the way they are doing.
“So, we will prosecute them and make them pay damages.
“Apart from flouting government’s order to stay at home so as to contain the spread of COVID-19, they have created an environmental disaster for us by poisoning our river which is a major public health concern,” he said.
Maurice Ogu (@cojmaurice)
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