Some youths under the aegis of the Omo-Owa, Omo Ekun Youths of Ijesaland, have shut down some mining sites and ordered miners operating in the area to vacate the communities.
According to findings, the action commenced on Monday with youths numbering about 300 on motorcycles visiting mining sites in Iponda and Ilase-Ijesa, both in the Obokun Local Government Area of Osun State, and asking Chinese miners and labourers found on the sites to immediately leave the communities.
That the leader of the group, Tunde Aguntasolo, said the youth also visited mining sites in Ibodi and Iberekodo communities in the Atakumosa West Local Government Area and shut down operations in protest against land degradation by miners.
Aguntasolo, who said his group had earlier held several meetings with the miners to seek amicable resolution of the adverse effects of mining activities on the people, said those found on the sites vacated without hesitation.
He stated, “We went to the sites with about 100 motorcycles and had two people with the rider on each of the motorcycles. We have actually held a series of meetings with the miners and they decided to take us for granted.
“Although we understand that it was the Federal Government that gave them licences to explore the mineral resources, but under the Mining Act, there is a section that says miners must reclaim the land after mining. These miners engage in mining and have refused to reclaim the land. The Mining Act also says that miners must engage in community development services, but they are not doing it.
“Lastly, most of our youths are unemployed. All those being employed by the miners are from other states and countries, especially Ghana, and they are paying them more money than what is being paid to us. We went to Ilase Ijesa, Iponda, Muroko and Acad area on Monday. On Tuesday, we were in Ibodi and Iberekodo communities. All the miners, including the Chinese, left their sites when we asked them to vacate without hesitation.”
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