Governor Adegboyega Oyetola on Friday expressed worries over alleged influx into Osun State, of illegal miners and bandits displaced from Zamfara State.
He called on security agencies, stakeholders and traditional rulers in the state to be at alert to prevent all forms of criminality.
The governor spoke in Osogbo, the state capital, at a security sensitisation programme.
The event had in attendance traditional rulers, security operatives, civil society organisations, politicians, market women, community leaders and top government functionaries.
“It has become imperative to put measures in place to checkmate the influx of displaced illegal miners to prevent the reverberation effect of the Zamfara State crisis in Osun.
“The purpose of the stakeholders’ meeting is to sensitise the security stakeholders on the need to forestall possible influx of illegal miners and the attendant risks of kidnapping, killings, drug dealings, arms peddling and rape.
“The overall objective is to better secure our state, make our minerals-rich communities peaceful, make mining commercially viable and deliver development to our people.
“In a nation where securing our oil wealth has been a perennial challenge, ensuring that our state’s mineral wealth does not become a resource curse, is a task we must all embrace squarely.
“It is in light of this that we regard the recent ban on mining activities in Zamfara State as a potential threat to mining activities in our State, which is blessed with mining deposits in commercial quantity.
“We must not yield our state to bandits and aggressors. We must work together to secure our communities.
“Our security agencies must unleash their intelligence capacity to crack the activities of bandits. Bad elements must be made to face the music to serve as a deterrent to others.
“I appeal to our people to provide credible information to security agencies while the traditional and religious leaders, security agents, government agencies and leaders should be above board.
“There is a need to heavily fortify our minerals-rich communities to make them impregnable to external aggression and incursion,” Oyetola said.
Some security chiefs in the state had raised the alarm on the infiltration of mining sites in the state by some bandits and urged the rulers to assist security operatives to ensure the invaders do not repeat what they did in Zamfara in Osun.
The top security chiefs cautioned landlords on renting out of their houses.
Consequently the governor warned, “If you rent out your house to a person who turns out to be a bandit, you will bear the consequence with him.”
He then urged traditional rulers to work hard in the villages because illegal miners “are gathering in remote areas of our state.”
Recal that the Federal Government had recently banned all forms of mining in Zamfara State following killings by bandits believed to have resulted from activities of illegal miners.
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