Evicted illegal Zamfara miners invade Osun; kidnap and terrorise residents

Posted by Johnson Ayantunji and Adeolu Adeyemo | 19 May 2019 | 1,160 times

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•Governor Oyetola

Indications have emerged that the illegal miners evicted recently in Zamfara State, have found their way to Osun State and are now terrorizing the people of the State of Living Spring.

Not too long ago, gunmen abducted a professor of Orthopaedic surgery at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Olayinka Adegbehingbe, at the Ikire-Apomu axis of the Ife-Ibadan Expressway.

The erudite Professor regained his freedom two days after his family and well-wishers parted with the sum of N5.045 million as ransom fee.

According to him, the abductors had initially demanded N30 million but later collected the lesser amount for his release after much negotiations.

“The Federal Government needs to invest more in security, we need to know the identity of people coming in and going out of the town, state and the country at large.

“The people who abducted me were Fulani herdsmen, and they had guns and multiple rounds of ammunition, as well as different dangerous weapons,” he said.

Equally, the wife and son of the Deputy Director and Head Public Relations, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Adegbenro Adebanjo, escaped death by the whiskers, when gunmen attacked the vehicle in which they were travelling on the same axis.

Adebanjo said: “From what I was able to piece together it was a clinical operation by professionals.”

Before then, the state had witnessed a plethora of abductions and this has put the people of the state on edge as residents now live in fear while travelling within or outside the state. Some have even abandoned some routes.

“Those going to Ife from Gbongan prefer going to Osogbo to connect Ilesha and then Ife, said an indigene of the state who spoke to Sunday Telegraph on condition of anonymity.

The development, according to Sunday Telegraph investigations, has forced the well to do and highly influential individuals in the state to hire the services of security outfits who now serve as their body guards.

The criminal acts became imminent and alarming in the state when illegal mining activities in Atakumosa West Local government in the state increased with the influx of people said to be of Fulani/Hausa extraction.

They are believed to have come in from Katsina, Kano, Niger and Sokoto arriving the state in trailers to mine gold and other mineral resources.

Investigation revealed that these illegal mining activities are being carried out with impunity and up till the time of this report, the heinous acts are continuing unabated.

Some believe that, those assigned to regulate the activities of the illegal miners had been bought over by highly influential people in the society, who reports say are the brain behind the illegal act in the local government.

Governor Adebgoyega Oyetola confirmed this recently, when he cried out that people flushed out of Zamfara State have invaded Osun.

The governor charged the residents to be watchful of those they offer accommodation, adding that they should assist the police by reporting suspicious movements to them.

Also, about four weeks ago, the Zone XI Command of the Police arrested three kidnap suspects, Jimoh Adamu Omotayo, Abdullahi Budah and Umatilla Ahamed in their various hideouts.

They were said to have been terrorizing indigenes of the state with their nefarious activities before nemesis caught up with them after they abducted a 46-year-old Salihu Ahmed in his farm at Agbeye village, Odo-Otin Local Government Area of Osun State.

The Coordinator, Advocacy for Advancement of Peace and Harmony in Africa Initiative (ADAPHAI), Osun State, Comrade Sola Lanrewaju, decried the impunity with which illegal mining was being carried out in the areas, and attendant criminal activities around Ijesha Land.

Lanrewaju maintained that, the economy and security of people in the areas are in serious jeopardy, as mining activities continue to drive farmers from the farms and threaten the ecology of the area.

“Imminent danger is looming in Osun State, the suspension of illegal mining in Zamfara and other states in the North West has a multiplier effect here in Osun State, as we observe serious influx of illegal Northern miners into the state.”

Also weighing in, a community leader in Osun State, Chief Adebisi Adesoye, said that, with the presence of the illegal miners, the state is sitting on a keg of gun powder.

Chief Adesoye who condemned the state government which he said has not addressed the issue of foreigners who perpetrate illegal acts in the state, warned it to act fast on the issue to avert calamities at the end of the day.

The State Police Command said it would do its best to ensure the safety of life and property of the residents. The Command’s spokesperson, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, maintained that, regular meetings are being held among different ethnic groups in the state to discuss on why they should live in harmony. (New Telegraph)

Source: News Express

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