Nigeria: Unraveling the Complexities: Oyo State Government Exposes Illegal Miners’ Claim of Federal Approvals Amid Ibadan Explosion

Nigeria: Unraveling the Complexities: Oyo State Government Exposes Illegal Miners’ Claim of Federal Approvals Amid Ibadan Explosion

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

As the shockwaves of the recent explosion in Ibadan reverberate, the Oyo State Government has unveiled a startling revelation regarding the illegal mining and gemstone markets at the heart of the incident. Fatai Owoseni, the Special Adviser on Security to the Oyo State Governor, disclosed in an interview that the operators of the illicit mining activities claimed to possess approvals from the Federal Government.

The aftermath of the explosion has brought to light a clandestine world of illegal mining in Ibadan, particularly around Ojoo, where gemstone markets have thrived, seemingly with official sanction. Owoseni revealed that the state government has been in dialogue with the federal government over the past two years concerning mining activities. However, the challenge lies in the fact that those engaged in illegal operations within the gemstone market present federal government approvals when confronted by law enforcement.

Addressing the broader issue of illegal mining practices, Owoseni pointed out significant flaws in the monitoring and regulation of miners. He highlighted the need for storage facilities or “magazines” to be in place, emphasizing the lackadaisical attitude observed in adhering to these conditions. Furthermore, he drew attention to the diversion of explosives from approved storage locations, showcasing a systemic breakdown in the industry.

The security adviser emphasized the importance of credible intelligence from citizens in combating such illicit activities. He underscored that security work, particularly policing, relies heavily on the collaboration of the community, stating that without credible intelligence, security personnel would remain uninformed about ongoing issues.

Owoseni clarified that the government, in its efforts to address such matters, depends on citizens providing information about illegal activities. He pointed out that complicity by government or security agencies would be unlikely, especially given the notable individuals residing in the affected areas, including a former deputy governor and eminent professors.

Regarding the current death toll resulting from the explosion, Owoseni provided an update, indicating that the number had risen to five, with 77 reported injuries. He stressed the government’s commitment to transparency and its willingness to receive credible intelligence from citizens to address security concerns effectively.

To enhance citizen participation, the Oyo State government has established avenues for reporting credible intelligence, including a citizens’ enquiry number, ‘615.’ Owoseni encouraged the community to make use of these channels, fostering a collaborative approach to ensure the safety and security of the region.

As the investigation unfolds, the revelations surrounding the illegal mining activities bring to light the challenges in regulating and monitoring such operations. The Ibadan explosion serves as a stark reminder of the need for proactive measures, community involvement, and robust regulatory frameworks to prevent tragedies of this nature in the future.

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