Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Thursday urged security agencies and traditional rulers to be at alert to prevent all forms of criminality and possible infiltration of the state by fleeing illegal miners and bandits displaced from Zamfara State.
This was contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Adeniyi Adesina, after the governor spoke during a security sensitisation programme attended by traditional rulers, security operatives, civil society organisations, politicians, market women, community leaders and top government functionaries in Osogbo.
Oyetola said, “It has become imperative to put measures in place to checkmate the influx of displaced illegal miners to prevent the reverberation effect of the Zamfara State crisis in Osun.”
The governor emphasised the need for security powered by intelligence gathering, vigilance by traditional rulers in their domains and the need to alert security agents to their observations to prevent crime and criminality.
The governor and security chiefs also cautioned landlords against renting out their houses to people without knowing their background or profiling them.
“If you rent out your house to a person who turns out to be a bandit, you will bear the consequence with him,” Oyetola warned landlords.
He urged traditional rulers to work hard in the villages because illegal miners “are gathering in remote areas of our state.”
The Federal Government banned all forms of mining in Zamfara State following sustained killings by bandits propelled by those believed to be illegal miners.
The governor said, “The purpose of this stakeholders’ meeting is to sensitise the security stakeholders on the need to forestall possible influx of illegal miners and the attendant risks of kidnapping, killings, drug dealings, arms peddling and rape.
“The overall objective is to better secure our state, make our mineral-rich communities peaceful, make mining commercially-viable and deliver development to our people.
“In a nation where securing our oil wealth has been a perennial challenge, ensuring that our state’s mineral wealth does not become a resource curse is a task we must all embrace squarely.
“It is in light of this that we regard the recent ban on mining activities in Zamfara State as a potential threat to mining activities in our state, which is blessed with mining deposits in commercial quantity.
“We must not yield our state to bandits and aggressors. We must work together to secure our communities.”