Protesting Landlords Seek Relocation From Mining Area
Members of the Landlords Association of Olopo in Ilode Area of Ile-Ife in Osun State on Friday launched a protest, demanding for their relocation from a mining area, which they said endangered their health.
They want the state Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola and the Federal Government to come to their aid, insisting that mining activities had caused them heartaches.
With placards emblazoned – “Save our souls; we are for peace; rescue us and we are dying among others” – they protested against the hazard of mining activities in the area.
Excavating Precious Stones
The Chairman of the Landlords Association of the area, Mr Olafare Olarotimi, passed the group’s appeal on Friday while briefing reporters in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Mr Olarotimi said that MARSS Mining Company and NASAUDE International Mining Company Limited were involved in excavating precious stones called Tourmaline in the community and the resultant effect of their activities had been a source of worry for the residents.
He added that the power from the blasting had adverse effect on their health, listing blindness, hypertension and blockage of the flow of water which leads to erosion, as some of the things they suffer.
According to him, all houses in the area had been affected, leading to collapse, cracking of walls and destruction of the roofing among others.
“Majority of us have relocated our aged parents to safety areas, for our lives and property are no longer safe in this area.
“Anytime we are leaving home, our children must follow us, for we are not sure of any hazard that may occur before our arrival back to the house. Maybe the house might have fallen or cracked before we come back,” he expressed.
“I Was Not Born Blind
Olarotimi stated further that the community had written letters to the office of Osun Commissioner of Police, when Mr Olufemi Oyeleye was the CP and the President of Ife Development Board (IDB), Professor Muibi Opeloye among others, but all efforts have not yielded any positive result.
He then warned the two companies to vacate the land and allow them to leave in peace while demanding that, as alternative, the government should relocate them, for the companies to have full access to their mining work.
“We are for peace and harmony and we pledge our hundred per cent support to the government on mining of Tourmaline and other mineral resources in our vicinity, for our nation needs it to boost the economy.
“But at the same, the government should expedite our relocation in the interest of saving our lives and property, for the blasting has caused environmental and health hazard, heavy erosion among others to our families,” he told reporters.
Also, one of the affected landlords, Mr Benson Adewoyin, lamented over collapsed building, just as he condemned the lackadaisical attitude of the companies towards their souls.
“When these people visited my resident and viewed the effect of the blast, they promised to pay me two million Naira, but only 200,000 Naira was given which could not repair half of their destruction,” he stated.
Meanwhile, a septuagenarian, Mr Adeniji Akinola, linked the loss of his sight to the flame of the blast.
“I was not born blind, but became blind through the power of the constant bombing.
“I regret building my house in this community. Now I cannot see again neither can I be able to work or do anything on my own.
“I am appealing to the State and Federal Governments to come to our aid in rescuing us from the hands of the powerful ones and save our souls, for we are dying,” Mr Akinola appealed.
After the press briefing, Channels Television’s correspondent in Osun, Bosede Sodiq, made attempts to speak with the manager and workers of the two mining companies, but they were not available to respond to the landlords’ claims.
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