Residents of Ginti, in the Ijede area of Ikorodu, Lagos State, on Thursday, said their lives and property had been put at risk because of illegal mining and excavation in the community.
PUNCH Metro gathered that some suspected land grabbers had granted access to illegal miners and some tipper operators to excavate the land in the community.
Our correspondent, during a visit to the area, observed that the mining operations were ongoing beneath a power line as the excavated areas had caused water accumulation, putting the area at risk of flooding.
A resident, who gave his name only as Usman for security reasons, said the tipper operators, who came with excavating machines to excavate in the area, shunned several complaints by members of the community.
“They have big machines they use. They are not afraid of anybody. We can’t complain because they are all in it together,” he said.
A shop owner in the area, who does not want her name mentioned over fear of harassment said, “They know what is going on but they are not doing anything. If we talk, their members can attack us.”
The residents, however, called on the state government to come to their rescue as our correspondent gathered that the illegal miners used tickets obtained from the Ijede Tipper Association to access the area.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Chairman of the association, Tajudeen Ilesanmi, said, “I will inform my members and other garages to desist from such an act.”
The Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Ijede Tipper Operators, Akeem Oseni, confirmed that they issued tickets for all tipper operators in the area.
He said, “We don’t know what they go there to do. They only collect receipts and tickets to go to the market in that area. I do not know anything about mining.”
Our correspondent gathered that the Lagos Command, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, had been notified of the miners’ operations in the community.
Contacted, the NSCDC Public Relations Officer in the state, Oluwaseun Abolurin, said the state Commandant, Eweka Okoro, during a visit to the area on Thursday, stated that officers would be attached to the area to arrest illegal miners.
“Our intelligence team notified me of the activities here. We gathered that some suspected illegal miners were excavating the land in this area, right beside the power lines.
“Their illegal operations put lives and property at risk. The power lines are for the government and we will protect them from falling. We’ll also stop the mining to prevent flooding,” he added.