Task Force Bust Illegal Miners In Ondo
No fewer than 500 illegal miners working in an unauthorised camp have been arrested in Ondo State.
Those apprehended are mostly from the Northern part of the country, who prospect for gold and other mineral resources.
Silas Godwin, Mine Officer in charge of Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in Ondo State, confirmed the arrest of the suspects in Akure on Thursday.
He told that the Special Mines Surveillance Task Force busted the location of the suspects at Ile-Oluji area of Okeigbo in the state.
He said the illegal activities of the suspects was noticed based on intelligence information obtained from members of the communities, who had been lamenting the damage done to their land.
Godwin explained that no responsible government will watch its land being destroyed and degraded by unauthorised persons seeking personal gain.
He said, “By the time we got the information, we moved into the site and arrested them working without the Ministry of Mines backing.
“From the information we got from them, they said they were looking for gold but we will get to verify this by the time we commence investigation.”
Godwin affirmed that both the state and Federal Government was ready to take appropriate step to stop illegal gold mining anywhere in the country.
According to him, illegal mining had become a source of worry to the government and if not properly checked could lead to both evironmental and human health problems.
He added, “Anybody that want to go into mining should know that it must be backed by law and due process because there are laid down guidelines for them to venture into mining.”
One of the suspects, Mr Awalu Salisu, revealed that he was a labourer in the site and was contracted from the North for the illegal mining job.