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Exclusive: Illegal mining activities flourish on OAU land

By Femi Akinola

A group of miners have been carrying out illegal mining activities on the land of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) at Ile-Ife, Osun State, NatureNews can report.

A resident in one of the staff quarters of the university who does not want his identity in the media said that a section of their quarters are by now seriously affected as a result of reckless illegal mining.

According to the OAU staff, proliferation illegal mining on OAU land is known to the institution’s authority but the management could not stop mining activities of the miners because the land belong to the Federal Government, and also, as the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, not quite long ago, said some ”powerful Nigerians” are behind illegal mining across the country.

The staff explained that one of the primary concern of residents of the staff quarters is the devastating effect on the environment.

”Unregulated mining operations close to where people are living involving the use of harmful chemicals such as mercury an cyanide, used in extracting minerals such as lead and gold are used in extracting minerals on OAU land.

”Due to recklessness of illegal mining on the land, these chemicals may have likely leach into nearby water sources and contaminate rivers and groundwater and pose serious health risk to both human and wildlife, students and staff in this casebates environmental

”The indiscriminate use of heavy machinery and explosives further exacerbates, causing deforestation, environmental degradation, habitat destruction and erosion,” the staff noted.

It will be recalled that in January, Dele Alake, the Minister for Solid Mineral Development, said the Federal Government was committed to ending illegal mining in the natio’s mining sector.

The minister made the dtstement when he led a federal delegation on a condolence visit to the Oyo State Government, over an explosion that rocked Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

While in Ibadan, Alake contended that powerful Nigerian were behind banditry associated with illegal mining in Nigeria.

”There is connivance among the strata of the society, the high, medium and low classes of society, in the nation’s mining sector.

”But the federal government is working together with the state and local governments, as well as the host communities, who have efficient knowledge of the local terrin to address the issue. We are employing both kinetic and non-kinetic strategies and tactics to address the menace,” Alake said.

 

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