By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
As part of measure to curb the menace of kidnapping , banditry and all form of criminality in Osun state, the governor of the state, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola has announced that all miners operating in the state must be registered with the govenment before carrying out their activities, saying no miners should operate in the state without being registered.
The Governor gave the order at the State security sensitization meeting with Stakeholders in Ife/Ijesa Zone at Zenababs Half Moon Resort, Ijebu-Jesa Road, Ilo-Ayegunle, Ilesa on Tuesday.
Oyetola who expressed dissatisfaction over the alleged security breeches by the suspected illegal miners in the recent time in the state said the activities of illegal mining vendors, if not checked, would shatter the safety, security and peace of the people as they are capable of engaging in untoward behaviours.
He also charged landlords in the state to be wary in the kind of miners they house saying that should an unregistered miner be caught operating, the landlord would also answer for it.
According to the governor, “already, there is an upsurge in criminal activities in this area. We have of recent been battling with kidnaping, harassment of people, and indiscriminate shootings on the highway, all traceable to the nefarious activities of some of these illegal miners.
“Should these high level crimes continue, Government will be forced to take a drastic action, which will include but not limited to a total ban on mining activities in this state.
The number one citizen in Osun said in order to prevent the hammer from falling, all hands must be on deck to avoid criminality.
“Community leaders (the Serikis) must play a key role in ensuring that this directive on registration is faithfully carried out.
“Thereafter, Serikis will be held accountable for acts of crime committed by miners in their area of operation.
“Ensuring that these crimes do not happen requires your collective support and cooperation and those of our people with the government.
“The illegal miners will live among your people, share common means of transportation with them, work on their land, patronize their markets and shops, drink from their sources of water and generally interact with them. Consequently, our people are in the best position to expose the activities of these criminals and secure their own communities.
“We are safer and better secured when we frankly share our experiences and make our suggestions available on the issue at hand. I, therefore, appeal to you all to take your destinies in your own hands by brainstorming at this event in order to rid your communities of needless crimes.
“You must report suspected strangers to security agencies. Traditional rulers must ensure that criminals do not live in their communities. Landlords must make sure that they do not harbour criminals in their houses or allow their houses to be rented out to unregistered illegal miners.
“If an illegal/unregistered miner is found to have committed a crime, the landlord will equally be liable.
“Landowners should report suspected illegal miners working on their land to security operatives. Market women, farmers, artisans, teachers and civil servants must be part of this security network.
“Government has elicited the support and pledge of meat sellers to make our security campaign a success. Traditional rulers and landowners must keep a tab on activities going on in their domain and know when strangers enter their communities.
“My Administration has enjoyed the professionalism and support of all the security chiefs in the State. I thank them for their services to the State while soliciting more cooperation, especially in the area of intelligence gathering. I implore them to ensure that their men earn the trust of citizens who may want to volunteer information. Security operatives are enjoined to use such information for desired results.
“There is a need for all stakeholders to mutually share information as this is the only way we can collectively achieve our aims.
“My Administration shall give full support and cooperation to all stakeholders to ensure the success of this initiative.
“Ife and Ijesa people are known for integrity, patriotism, industry, enterprise and good neighbourliness. You shall all have to employ these tenets anew to make the new-found mining prosper and secure our people.
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