A group under the aegis of Concerned Indigenes of Dangbala (CID) in Akoko- Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, said the delay by the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders in allowing legitimate licence holders commence mining at Dangbala site is fuelling illegal mining activities in the locality.
The convener of the group and protean chairman, Philip Adelabu, stated this in a statement made available to Nigerian NewsDirect on Tuesday.
He pointed out that the call to allow legitimate licence holders to operate became necessary as part of effort to ensure peace in the community and also to curb the activities of illegal miners in the area.
While noting that residents of the community have been worried and inundated with calls from their people outside on the recent happenings in the community, the group urged the government to rise to the occasion and beam its search light on some security agents, who connived with the illegal miners to perpetrate their criminal activities.
They also demanded the immediate prosecution of those arrested and found to have been involved in the criminal exploitation of the natural resources.
Part of the statement read, “To us, we want the government to allow those that have licences and have been duly cleared to be allowed to take over their respective space in the Oketegbe mining site.
“Once they are allowed to go back and occupy their space, it will check the insecurity and ward off unscrupulous people from having a field day like they did when nothing was happening there.
“Seriously, we are concerned with the fact that activities of illegal miners have heightened security in the area, which have instilled fear among our people.
“Our fear is further compounded by the denial that there was nothing like illegal mining there even in the face of attacks on some of our people by the illegal miners.
“We really do not know who to trust again because a security agency (NSCDC) that is saddled with the responsibility has come out to deny what we (residents) know to be happening in this area.
“It is against this background that we are appealing to the concerned authority to allow the legitimate licence holders to go back and occupy their respective allotted mining space in Oketegbe to put an end to the activity of these illegal miners,” he stated.