We are taking proactive steps to track illegal miners in Osun – Governor Oyetola

Gov Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State.(Photo credit:Punch)

Osun State Governor Adegboyega  Oyetola, spoke with  some journalists from Nigeria at N’Djamena, Chad on the sidelines of the Summit of Community of Sahel and Saharan States,CEN-SAD. He was one of the Governors who accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to the Extraordinary Summit of Community of Sahel and Saharan States,CEN-SAD  held in Chad, April 13, 2019.Newsdiaryonline’s Danlami Nmodu,mni was  among those who interviewed Governor Oyetola in N’Djamena.#TrackNigeria – Excerpts:

Q: This is all about security,how important is Nigeria’s participation?

A: Well, first of all,I like to appreciate Mr President for the opportunity of being part of this entourage. Security is very important.Actually, the essence of government is security and welfare of the people. And Mr President has actually taken security as a priority in Nigeria. And unless you secure the entire African region, you are not likely to have peace in most of the other states. Whatever applies to one state, usually  affects the other…So it is quite important,and I actually congratulate the Head of State for taking it as a matter of priority to look at the security of the region.It is very, very important.Iam happy that Iam part of it

What are you expectations from it?

A:Well expectation is that every of the head of state will go back to their respective countries to ensure that we have peace and ensure that the security of lives and properties is guaranteed in their respective countries.

Q: Do you think the governors of  various states are giving the President enough cooperation  to ensure peace and security in the country(Nigeria)?

A: I want to believe so.You know we have different peculiarities. Some are of a nature that they have been there for so long even before the President came in.It takes a lot of time to be able to take care of security. Again , we have limited resources to combat some of these crimes.I believe it is in the interest of the governors to actually cooperate with the President.There is no doubt about it.Like I said the essence of governance actually is security of life and property and welfare of the people.So if you are a governor and If you are a governor and you don’t take security serious, then you are joking, you are not serious.I don’t see any governor that will want to play around with security.He could have challenges of paucity of funds perhaps,and the sophistication of some of these bandits; the way they operate sometimes creates a lot of challenges for our security agencies.But I think they are doing their best.

Q:So what is the situation in the State of Osun?

A: Well in our case, state is very our peaceful,generally speaking. One area we are looking at,and that is being proactive is the possibility of the spread of these illegal miners to our state.You know we are one of the states with abundance in  mineral resources.That is why I proactively asked the security sometimes  last week, to look at the possibility of some of those miners migrating to our state  and the security challenges that that could pose.We are going to have Town Hall meetings this week to at least ensure that we prepare for those possibilities.And the security agencies have been very very cooperative in doing a lot.We are going to be talking to the village heads, so that we know precisely, who are these people that are bringing these  miners to the state,get them registered to ensure that we monitor their activities to avoid the possibility of commission of crime.

Q:Does that suggest that you are maybe advocating for  Zamfara treatment for illegal miners in your state, that’s banning them?

A:No, no ,no.But You can regulate their activities.Let me say this: the president has been very pro-active.In fact,part of what I know we are doing,which the president has initiated is the Presidential Initiative on Artisanal Miners.My state happens to be one of the States.The pilot scheme will be Kebbi and my State(Osun).So we want to regulate their activities so as to ensure that they do not get into crimes.I mean when you see influx of about, three,four, five ,ten, twenty thousand miners coming into your state,you are supposed to be worried.You need to regulate their activities.You need to do a surveillance of what they do.If it is strictly restricted to mining, well, it’s okay, we are brothers.But we must ensure that they don’t end up creating problems in terms of security.

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