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Following the January 16 ,2024 explosion that rocked Bodija area of Ibadan as a result of storage of explosives by illegal miners in a resident in the area, Oyo state government has ordered all the 33 local government chairmen in the state as well as traditional rulers and chiefs areas to flush out illegal miners, bandits and land grabbers in their respective council areas.

The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon Olusegun Olayiwola who addressed journalists after a closed door meeting with the council bosses at the conference room of the ministry on Monday warmed that the state government has zero tolerance for crime and criminality and will stop at nothing to ensure safety of lives and property of the citizens.

He said, “One major point that was extensively discussed today, is the issue of security of lives and property in Oyo state. You will recall that about three weeks ago, there was an explosion at Bodija, Ibadan which eventually turned out to be as a result of illegal activities of illegal or legal miners that are not supposed to keep such terrible equipment in residential areas.”

“As a result of this Chairmen and women in the 33 local government areas of Oyo state were invited to the office of the Hon. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters today (Monday) and after the end of the meeting, the meeting decided to address the press about the outcome of the meeting.

“Security situation in Oyo state is very fluid, and as a result of this, the chairmen and chairwomen in the 33 local governments of Oyo state have decided that the three critical areas that the people and government of Oyo state need to look into are in the area illegal mining, land grabbing and banditry.”

“We have been coping with the issue of banditry for a while now, but unfortunately, the issue of land grabbing has taken the center stage of the insecurity of lives and property of the citizens of Oyo state now and the meeting discussed this extensively today and decided that forthwith, the chairmen and chairwomen of the local government are being saddled with the responsibility of taking charge of the security situations of their local government as the construction of the federal republic of Nigeria have given them the power to do as the chief security officers of their local government.”

“As a result of this we decided at today’s meeting that the illegal miners wherever they may be, the chairmen of various Local Government should go

after them, the men and women hunt and fish them out wherever they are.”

“This can easily be done with the collaboration, assistance and support of royal fathers and traditional chiefs all over the councils, when they see and say something, we will be able to apprehend this people.”

“Our traditional rulers and chiefs knows where these people are operating because they live amongst them and cannot deny the fact that they don’t know the works of the people living in their domain.”

“The meeting of today, as a matter of urgency, have saddled the chairmen of each of the 33 local government to back home, hold an emergency meeting with security committees of their various Local Government and come to conclusion that the committee will serve as task force that will embark on the manhunting illegal miners, land grabbers and bandits.”

He noted that the state government will not fold her arms and watch criminals take over the state adjudged as one of the safest in the country.

According to him, the meeting had mandated the council bosses to compulsorily hold a joint security meeting every last Thursday of the month in their respective councils beginning from February, 2024.

He said, “the outcome of such meeting must be made available to the ministry of local government and Chieftaincy Matters before the end of each month so that the ministry can take the decisions or findings of each of the council to the state governor.” Seyi Makinde.

While citing the recent suspension of the Onido of Ido, Oba. Gbolagade Babalola by the state government over alleged links with illegal miners, urged royal fathers in the state expose anyone known to be having ties with illegal miners to inform the relevant authority for prompt action.

In his remarks, the state Chairman Associations of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Hon. Sikiru Sanda assured the state government that the council bosses will ensure adequate security surveillance in all the local governments so as to make the state not only safe for the citizens but also for local and foreign investors.

In his own remarks, the Director General, Solid Minerals Development Agency, Abiodun Oni every citizens of the state to take security issues as their responsibility and not the state government alone while also urging traditional rulers indulging in granting letters of consent to miners without consultation with the relevant authorities to desist from the act.

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