Illegal Miners in Ibadan Explosion Alleged to Possess Federal Government Approvals, Says – Oyo State

Illegal Miners in Ibadan Explosion Alleged to Possess Federal Government Approvals, Says - Oyo State

The Oyo State Government has recently brought to light that operators of illegal mining and gemstone markets in Ibadan claimed to possess approvals from the Federal Government. Fatai Owoseni, the Special Adviser on Security to the Oyo State Governor, shared these revelations during an interview with Arise Television on Thursday, shedding light on the intricate challenges surrounding the regulation and safety of such operations.

The backdrop to this revelation includes a recent explosion in Ibadan attributed to illegal miners, sparking concerns about the safety protocols and regulatory measures in place for such activities. Owoseni emphasized that the government and security agencies might not be fully apprised of all occurrences in the state unless citizens actively provide credible information.


Over the past two years, the Oyo State governor has been in ongoing discussions with the federal government regarding mining activities in the region. The revelation emerged that an illicit mining market, specifically dealing in gemstones, had taken root in Ibadan around Ojoo and was predominantly operated by foreigners. In an alarming twist, when law enforcement or state agencies attempted operations in the area, the operators produced approvals ostensibly obtained from the federal government.

Owoseni shed light on the challenges within the mining industry, particularly decrying the lack of proper oversight and adherence to regulatory conditions. For instance, he highlighted a stipulation requiring a storage facility, commonly referred to as a magazine, for the safekeeping of mined materials. However, instances were reported where individuals failed to comply with these regulations, diverting materials to locations not designated for storage.


Addressing a common public misconception about the omnipotence of security agencies, Owoseni clarified, “The concept and philosophy guiding security work, especially policing, is that the people are the police, and the police are the people.” He underscored the critical role of citizens in providing credible intelligence, emphasizing that without such inputs, security personnel would remain uninformed about crucial developments.

Furthermore, Owoseni responded to concerns about the government’s knowledge of illegal activities. He stated that if reports were received about such incidents, the government would have taken immediate action. He emphasized the existence of avenues for citizens to submit credible intelligence reports, including a dedicated citizens’ enquiry number (615) in Oyo State.

Providing an update on the recent incident’s death toll, Owoseni noted, “As of yesterday, the governor indicated we had 3 dead persons, 77 wounded. But this morning, just before we started this interview, the security operatives in that area had sent me a text, notifying me that 2 more dead bodies were recovered this morning.” This tragic escalation underscores the urgency and severity of the situation, prompting heightened security measures.

Owoseni reiterated the government’s commitment to engaging with the community and encouraging citizens to actively participate in ensuring the security of the state. He highlighted the various channels available for reporting incidents and providing intelligence, including the citizens’ enquiry number and face-to-face interactions with security and intelligence communities.


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