Edo govt gives 7-day ultimatum to illegal miners

Edo State Government has given seven days ultimatum to illegal gold miners at Egbetual autonomous community in Ososo, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area to vacate the area or face the full wrath of the law.

DAILY POST reports that the Edo State Commissioner for Mining and Energy, Enaholo Ojiefoh gave the ultimatum when he met with chiefs and elders of the community at the weekend.

Ojiefoh, who said the report of the visit would be forwarded to the Minister of Solid Mineral Development and the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, noted 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, added that the state government would review all the mining licenses before opening up gold mining activities in the locality.

Edo govt gives 7-day ultimatum to illegal miners

According to him, “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.

Edo govt gives 7-day ultimatum to illegal miners

“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,” he said.

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

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

Edo govt gives 7-day ultimatum to illegal miners

Momoh, however, promised to direct the community town crier to take the warnings of the Edo State government to the residents of the community before the expiration of the seven days ultimatum.

DAILY POST recalls that the community had recently called on the Edo State Government to help halt the activities of illegal gold miners, which it said had led to criminal activities in the area.

It was gathered that gold mining activities has been in operation in the community for over 25 years and is located inside the Odo bush, about 15 kilometres from the main town of Ososo.

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