Ibadan explosion: Illegal mining poses danger to Nigeria, Teejay Yusuf charges NSA on action

The tragic explosion in Ibadan has further shed light on the increasingly dangerous security threat that widespread illegal mining poses for Nigeria and it presents an opportunity for a well-coordinated inter-agency response led by the Office of the National Security Adviser and various security agencies to conclusively end the threat, Hon. Teejay Yusuf has said.

According to Yusuf, a former member of the House of Representatives, while Governor Seyi Makinde and others in Oyo state have demonstrated excellent leadership during the crisis, there is urgent need for leaders of various security agencies and other sat the Federal level to do much more towards curbing the threat that widespread illegal mining by foreigners and their Nigerian collaborators poses to Nigeria’s economy and its people.

 “Even from afar, many Nigerians feel the pains of all those families that lost their loved ones  and properties and even though we feel very saddened, the very prompt responses from Governor Seyi Makinde, the Oyo state House of Assembly, the state’s Emergency Management Agency gladdens many hearts and we find such to be worthy of commendation.

“However, in view of the very potent security threat that illegal miners pose towards security of lives and properties in some northern states and the south, their tendency for involvement in illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions, explosives, tax evasion and so on; these focused and determined foreign interests must be effectively stopped through a resolute inter-agency cooperation by our security agencies,” said Teejay Yusuf who represented the Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency of Kogi state for twelve years.

Pointing out that the Ojoo Gemstones Market near Ibadan, the largest of its type across Africa also remains a potential source for huge internally-generated revenue, employment and national economic diversification, he noted that Oyo state’s huge deposits of Lithium, marble, dolomite, tourmaline, garnet and other varieties of gemstones also makes the state an attractive destination for unscrupulous businessmen and illegal miners from other countries.

“The Oyo state government under Governor Seyi Makinde is boosting internally-generated revenue while accelerating welfare and development efforts but it would take the eagle-eyed alertness of all stakeholders to thwart the impending mischief of foreigners and their Nigerian facilitators.

“While we all salute Governor Seyi Makinde for his prompt response, payment of hospital bills of those who got injured and provision of alternative accommodation for the displaced persons, we must also applaud the security agents, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),  the Oyo State Emergency Management Agency, (SEMA) and others for their prompt deployment of manpower to the explosion scene.

“Yet even while we respect ECOWAS protocols on free movement and trade, a lot needs to be done to stop foreigners’ and unscrupulous Nigerian citizens’ illegal bleeding of Nigeria’s economy as they work with black legs in official circles for continued stay in Nigeria, illegal exportation of huge quantities of solid minerals, non-payment of taxes and duties, as well as alleged sponsorship of armed bandit groups to provide their ‘security’ needs in illegal mining camps in forests across the south and northern parts of Nigeria,” he said.