17 Chinese, 10 Nigerians arrested for illegal mining in Osun
The Osun Joint Task Force accused of battling arranged violations has secured 27 people suspected to be unlawful excavators in the state.
Mr. Abdullahi Binuyo, the Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, who unveiled this on Sunday in Osogbo, said that the speculates contained 17 Chinese nationals and 10 local people.
Binuyo said that the suspects were captured following an organized sting activity in Ilesa and Ife zones of the state.
The authority said that the administration would not overlap its arms while its territory was being debased by unapproved people.
“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 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 licences 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.