27 Illegal Miners Arrested in Osun
In Osun State 27 illegal miners, comprising 17 Chinese nationals and 10 locals, including a local traditional chief have been arrested.
They were arrested following a coordinated sting operation around Ilesa and Ife axis of the State by the recently inaugurated Joint Task Force, JTF.
Speaking on the development, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the State Governor, Mr Abdullahi Binuyo, said no responsible government would fold its arms and watch its land being degraded by unauthorised persons.
Mr Binuyo noted that aside the economic leakages, the illegal miners flouted the COVID-19 stay at home order, while they also polluted the Osun River with poisonous metals, thereby making it unsafe for human consumption and irrigation.
He added that apart from ensuring that those arrested were prosecuted, they would also be made to pay compensation.
The Governor’s aide explained that the suspects did not have genuine mining licenses neither were they registered with the government, adding that what they claimed to possess was exploration Licenses, which did not permit them to mine.
Earlier, one of those arrested, May Zam, who was the only one that could speak passable English among the Chinese, disclosed that she was not aware they were engaged in illegal mining.
She said they worked for different companies, and she believed they should have mining licenses, adding that the current company she works for, which she failed to name, has a Nigerian sponsor.