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Indigenes of Ijesa land in Osun state have called the attention of concerned authorities to the menace of illegal and indiscriminate mining activities taking place in their communities.
The indigenes under the aegis of Coalition of Societies and Clubs in Ijesa-Land while addressing press conference on Thursday in Ilesa highlighted various socio-economic and insecurity activities that have been threatening the peace and growth of the Ijesa people and kingdom saying that urgent measures should be taken to nip the ugly trends in the bud before they get out of hands.
In attendance at the press Conference held at Ijesa Sports Club in Ijesa are Police chiefs, officers of the Department of State Security, traditional rulers, concerned indigenes of Ijesa land, top echelon staff of tertiary institutions in Ijesa land, organisations among other civil society groups.
Speaking through Dr. Adigun Adewoye, the Ijesa people drew the attention of the general public to the influx of unknown individuals in the state who are have been simultaneously mining gold and other materials illegally and indiscriminately in many communities in Ijesa land.
On indiscriminate and illegal mining in Ijesa land, Adewoye said that legal and illegal miners have flooded the kingdom adding that “the worst aspect is that there was no documentation or profiling of the people to the mining communities in Ile-Ijesa. It will be a disaster to happen in the nearest future if authorities fail to act now by carrying out proper profiling of both legal and illegal miners and their foreign workforce as some as of these miners engage in acts capable of causing havoc to the inhabitants of the communities where they operate.”
“It needs to be state that the mining activities have led to destruction of farmland, creation of food insecurity and loss of economic trees within our various villages. A look at the mining communities has resulted in creation of slums and destitution of the local or indigenous people. The advantages of being mining communities have been turned to despair.
” No infrastructural developments in the local communities and the unwholesome activities of these miners have led to the degrading of their environment and worsening standard of living. Insecurity has equally worsened with cases of stealing, assault, attack, violence and other negative activities on the increase. Recently, a traditional ruler and staff members of Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke were kidnapped.
“There are other reported cases of high profile kidnapping in which ransom were paid before the victims were released. The unwholesome acts are alien to bus in our kingdom and must be condemned by all well-meaning people of the land. It is an abominable act that must be allowed to occur again nor flourish.
” Ijesa land and her people have age long reputation of being industrious with entrepreneurial skill and spirit which earned us the appellate Osomalo but regrettably, both the formal and informal business ventures are lacking now or not encouraging for investments, commerce and trade. It is sad to know that high tariffs and imposition of difficult levies to start off businesses and ventures by professional bodies and trade unions are hampering the young ones fro starting off business of their choice within the kingdom.
“There is the general situation where local associations impose levies on goods and services at expensive costs in the name of association who have turned to kingpins with no authority to curb their excesses at all levels. The activities of these local associations and trade unions are anti-development. The ease of doing business in Ile-Ijesa has been made poorer and hugely unattractive.”
The indigenes also bemoaned “the activities of some bad people in Ile-Ijesa: Yahooism, scammers, cultists, ritualists, science students, kidnapping and others. The activities of these bad elements are now uncontrollable with the connivance of few bad eggs within the security forces. Most youths and few elderly ones are now involved because they now see of as means of livelihood,” he said.
Also, another indigene, Mr. Sole Adewole sought for means to tackle the menace saying that it has become worrisome and has been causing the kingdom acute economic and social retrogression.
In his remarks, Mr. Wale Idowu called for concerted efforts of stakeholders, especially traditional rulers and parents as regards ensuring that core values are inculcated in children and youths.
For Mr. Afolabi Igbaroola, some royal fathers and traditional chiefs in Ijesa land are culpable on the activities of illegal miners arguing that some of these royal fathers back the illegal miners after obtaining some financial rewards from them. He therefore urged for urgent and practical ways to tackle the issues.
The indigenes however called the attention of royal fathers, religious leaders, notable and progress driven societies and organisations to enlighten and educate the people on the danger of the menaces highlighted.
“We also call on security organizations to rise up to the challenge by ensuring security of lives and property within Ijesa land. We also call on government at all levels to address these issues for peace and peaceful coexistence in Ile-Ijesa. All Ijesa people home and abroad are enjoined to be law abiding and continue to maintain those age long positive virtues of hardworking, integrity, honour, excellence and pride which we are known for,” the address reads further.
Meanwhile, the state commissioner of Police, Mr. Olafimihan Adeoye has said the force would double its efforts to ensuring peace and security of Ijesa land.
The CP, who was represented by the B Divisional Police Officer of Ijesa, CSP Ade Ige asked the indigenes to always report any unlawful act to the police promptly saying that Police would jot condole any act of illegality.