Seven suspects who have allegedly been mining gold illegally in Itagunmodi Community, Atakumosa West local Government Area of Osun state were arrested by men of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, on Wednesday.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Mineral and Natural Resources, Hon. Tunde Ajilore, accompanied by men of the NSCDC had stormed the community where the illegal gold mining was taking place and apprehended the suspects.
Speaking, Ajilore said that the state government’s effort to curb the activities of illegal miners called for the importance of a structured biometric database of miners in the state.
Describing the damage done to the site as ‘too enormous’, Ajilore said the activities of the miners amount to economic sabotage, warning that the state government will not fold its arms and allow the situation to continue unchecked.
“As a state, what we are saying is that there is need for us to know how many miners are here, a landlord who does not know how many people is feeding will surely run bankrupt.”
“For the past three months, we close the bush in order to appropriate and know the number of people that operate at the mining site. That is why we requested them to come for biometric so as to know their number. We were able to register about 6,000 miners within one and half month.
Ajilore however reiterated that the government will resist all forms of illegal mining in the state, as it will go all out to bring perpetrators to book in a bid to sanitise the system.
Speaking, the State Commandant of the NSCDC Mr. Aboluwaye Akinwande, said investigation is on and anyone found culpable will be charged to court.
“Our next action is to conduct a preliminary investigation, then ensure we follow it up before charging them to court.”