Indigenes and residents of the six local government areas in Ijesaland, Osun State, on Thursday, decried the activities of illegal miners and suspected Fulani herdsmen, whom they said posed threats to the security of lives and properties in the area.
Addressing journalists in Ilesha on behalf of the Coalition of Societies and Clubs in Ijesaland, Dr Adigun Adewoye, said the growing insecurity was gradually leading to the collapse of socio-economic activities across the land.
Adewoye noted that large numbers of people, especially from the North, were currently engaged in Illegal mining activities in all the local government areas in Ijesaland, lamenting that their activities had destroyed cash crops and damaged farmlands.
He said, “The worst aspect is that there is no documentation or profiling of the people in the mining communities in Ile-Ijesa. It will be a disaster in the nearest future if the authorities fail to act now by carrying out proper profiling of both the legal and illegal miners and their foreign workforce, as some of these miners engage in acts capable of causing havoc to the inhabitants of the communities where they operate.
“It needs to be stated that the mining activities have led to the destruction of farmlands, creation of food insecurity and loss of economic trees in our various villages.
“A look at the mining communities shows that the activities have resulted in the creation of slums and destitution of the indigenous people. The advantages of being mining communities have been turned to despair.
“Insecurity has equally worsened with cases of stealing, assault, attacks, violence and other negative activities on the increase. Recently, a traditional ruler and members of staff of the Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, were kidnapped by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
“Internet scammers, cultists, ritualists, drug addicts, kidnappers and others are having a field day too. The activities of these bad elements are now uncontrollable with the connivance of a few bad eggs within the security forces.”
Adewoye added that urgent measures must be taken to put an end to the activities of those who had constituted themselves into security threats in the area before the situation would get out of hand.
Responding, the Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, who was represented by a Chief Superintendent of Police, Ade Ige, gave an assurance that the police would not relent in their efforts to protect the lives and properties of the residents.
Adeoye, however, urged the indigenes to report unlawful activities promptly to the police, saying any act of illegality would not be condoned.