By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
It has been revealed why the Osun Government has refused to release 17 illegal Chinese miners to the police for prosecution.
This was disclosed by a source close to the Osun State Government alleging that there is pressure not to release the illegal 17 Chinese miners for prosecution.
According to the source, the pressure is coming from ‘powerful people’ who have stopped the state government from handing over the saboteurs to the police.
It would be recalled that the Osun State Government on May 3, 2020, announced the arrest of 27 illegal miners in the State. Those apprehended include 17 Chinese nationals and 10 locals, including a traditional ruler.
The arrest then was confirmed by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the State Governor, Abdullahi Binuyo, who noted that no responsible government will fold its arms and watch its land being degraded by unauthorized persons. The arrest was executed by the recently inaugurated Osun State Security Taskforce (Amotekun) around the Ilesa and Ife axis of the State.
According to the source, Binuyo said the illegal miners had also polluted the Osun River with poisonous metals, thereby making it unsafe for human consumption and irrigation. He added that those arrested will be prosecuted and made to pay compensation.
The source said, “Normally the Chinese ought to have been handed over to the federal government for prosecution as mining is under the exclusive list. But there has been lots of pressure on the Osun State Government by powerful people which is perhaps why they have not been handed over to the police.
“In a video that was widely shared on social media platform WhatsApp a farmer named Olaiya Olowe caught some Chinese nationals on his farm in Osun State who were there with heavy equipment. In the video, it showed that the farm had been destroyed. The cocoa trees and the cassava plant had been pulled down, while some Chinese nationals were also apprehended in the video which was operating some of the equipment used for illegal mining.
According to the source, Olaiyan said, “The Chinese have destroyed all my farm consisting of cocoa, banana, and Kolanut. They have destroyed all my crops and when we accosted them they said they came from the place of Ooni of Ife that had given the Ooni a lot of money to mine on the farm. We were very shocked to hear this as we have not given anyone the right to come to our farm.”
The source also disclosed that in the same vein the farm of one late Olufunke Okudulu was allegedly taken over by some Chinese nationals under the corporate name of JIN Xiu global resources in collaboration with the Ooni of Ife.
“In the same vein the farm of late madam OlufunkeOkudulu was taken over by Chinese under the corporate name of JIN Xiu global resources in collaboration with the Ooni of Ife”, the source alleged.