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Your Days Are Numbered, Edo Govt Tells Illegal Gold Miners

Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting

Edo State Government has told illegal gold miners at Egbetual autonomous community in Ososo, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state that their days are numbered if they still continue with the act.

The State Commissioner for Mining and Energy, Enaholo Ojiefoh, gave the warning when he met with chiefs and elders of the community.

Ojiefoh, who said the report of the visit would be communicated to the Minister of Solid Mineral Development and the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, said that the state government has zero tolerance for crime and illegalities.

The commissioner, who noted that the state government was interested in the growth and development of the locality, stressed that the state government would review all the mining licenses before opening up gold mining activities in the locality.

Ojiefoh added that the illegal miners and their aiders will not be spared.

“I want to give a serious warning to everybody here (residents of Egbetua) that if you are part of these criminals that have been working in our forest, mining our precious mineral, your days are numbered.

“If you are working, cooperating with them as a community, youth, man or woman, or you are the one who helps them to buy fuel that they use in the forest, or you are the one giving them access to the forest, your days are numbered.

“I want you (elders of Egbetua community) to send this message to everybody, tell them that we are giving them (gold miners) seven days to vacate that forest (Odo bush).

“It is a matching order from the state government to flush them (illegal gold miners) out of this place, and that is why you are seeing different security agencies.

“They can’t be exploiting our solid mineral and still be kidnapping, raping our wives, girls, chasing our men away and using that place (forest) as a trap or den to keep their kidnap victims.

“We are going to review all the mining licenses before we open up gold mining here. We are going to review all the mining licenses and they are giving to sign undertaking and agreement for peace to reign in our land,” Ojiefoh added.

The Commissioner maintained that the state government would be working with all legal mining companies in the state by bringing in investors for the development and growth of the area.

He reiterated that anybody mining in the state without consent from the community, their licenses would be revoked.

Speaking with Journalists, the Head-Chief of Egbetua Community, Chief Peter Momoh, lauded the state government for the intervention, noting that the intervention would in no small measure help to address the menace and activities of illegal gold mining in the area.



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