By Lateef Dada, Osogbo
Residents of Opa in Awolumate Zone 3, Ile-Ife, Osun State, have lamented that the activities of miners have put their lives in danger.
They said that some residents have been rendered homeless while some are living in fear that their houses may soon collapse as a result of damages caused by the miners.
The Chairman of Awolumate Zone 3, Olafare Abimbola, explained that the expatriates started mining from the waterways and later invaded some plots of land already acquired by the people.
He said, “we invited some of their representatives who are Yoruba tribes and they told us that we should go and write a list of things we need in the community and that they will do it for us.
“They are already passing their boundaries, going beyond what they told us. They are now bulldozing properties and they do that mostly at the night, thereby endangering the lives of people.
“Like 20 houses have been affected. This is beyond my power. I cannot control them, and even now they are nearing my own house.
“Meanwhile, they are trying to bribe me with money but I told them the only thing the community wants is for them to exit. We didn’t give them any consent to do anything in our community. They are now buying more land. They want to extend their activities, and they are ready to destroy our properties and endanger our lives. We don’t want them in our community. The potholes are very deep and they have spent one month now. Please we want you to come to our aid.”
Another resident, Ogunwuyi Grace, lamented that her vacant two plots that she uses for plantain farming have been invaded and all the plantain cleared away.
Also, Evangelist Adeoye, said the miner told the community that they have a license to work on the river before they later extend it to people’s properties. The federal government should intervene and stop the miners before they ruin our community. They have come to us that we should sell our houses and churches to them and we refused.
Another resident, Olugbenga Fabeku, said if it is true that the traditional rulers are collecting money from the miners, the higher authority should intervene. According to him, “the miners said Ife Board, Akogun, Obalufe, Oloke, Olojudo have collected money from them.” He said it is time for Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, should speak up.
“It is wrong to bring soldiers and policemen to this community when there is no war,” he added.