By Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
The Ogun state government has issued stern warning to people mining sand at the government acquired First Industrial Park, Osile-Sofolu village, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway in Obafemi/Owode local government, stressing that anybody caught in the acts would be prosecuted and their vehicles impounded.
The Secretary to the state government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi who issued this warning in a statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta on Wednesday by Mr. Kunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor.
Talabi said it was intolerable that some people would turn the Industrial Park to an illegal excavation site as opposed to the original intention of the state government to build a park to promote economic development of the State.
He said “the park which was acquired and allotted in 2011 at the twilight of the Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration to accommodate the cluster of industries in the fast growing industrial estate but now the activities of illegal miners foretell grave peril to the inhabitants of the immediate environment as a direct consequence of their activities”.
Talabi noted that shortly before the commencement of the 2019 general elections, and during a recent routine inspection, it was discovered that massive mining had resumed at the Industrial Park and that following this discovery, a stop work order has been issued and sign post erected warning that illegal mining was prohibited in that axis.
“We have given them enough notice. Now enforcement takes immediate effect. We are deploying armed security policemen for strict enforcement surveillance. There is no debate – anyone no matter how lowly or highly placed who contravenes this embargo on all forms of mining will be guilty of not only trespass on government land but for environmental offences”, Talabi added.
He said “as a serious government concerned about our environment, we detest illegal mining which could in the long run lead to ecological disasters. We will not allow that to happen. We will clamp down on these illegal miners in the interest of protecting the property from further degradation and government would not hesitate to fine and punish anyone caught according to the extant laws of the state.”
“The government would not fold its arms and allow the menace to continue because illegal mining in the area has made the Park unsuitable for the purpose it was earmarked when government procures sand, laterite from other areas to fill up the ground at a great cost,” Talabi said.