Oyo State Government has ordered all the 33 local government chairmen in the state as well as traditional rulers to flush out illegal miners, bandits and land grabbers in their areas.
The state’s Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hon Olusegun Olayiwola, who addressed journalists after a closed door meeting with the council bosses at the conference room of the ministry on Monday, said the state government had zero tolerance for crime and criminality and would stop at nothing to ensure safety of lives and property in the state.
He said, “one major point that was extensively discussed today, is the issue of security of lives and property in Oyo State. You will recall that about three weeks ago, there was an explosion at Bodija, Ibadan which eventually turned out to be as a result of illegal activities of some miners, who were not supposed to keep explosives in residential areas.
“As a result of this, chairmen and women in the 33 local government areas of Oyo State were invited to the office of the Hon. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters today (Monday) and at the end of the meeting, we decided to address the press about the outcome of the meeting.
“The chairmen and chairwomen in the 33 local governments of Oyo State have decided that the three critical areas that the people and government of Oyo State need to look into to improve security are illegal mining, land grabbing and banditry.”
The commissioner added that the meeting resolved to saddle the chairmen with the responsibility of securing their local government areas in accordance with the provision of the country’s constitution which recognizes them as the chief security officers of their local governments.
The meeting, however, enjoined them to work with kings and other traditional rulers in their domains to effectively secure their areas.
The commissioner stated further that the council chairmen had been mandated to go after all illegal miners in their areas and fish them out.
Olayiwola continued, “This can easily be done with the collaboration, assistance and support of royal fathers and traditional chiefs all over the councils, when they see and say something, we will be able to apprehend these people.
“Our traditional rulers and chiefs know where these people are operating because they live amongst them and cannot deny the fact that they know the work of the people living in their domains.”
Olayiwola charged the 33 local government chairmen to return to their domains, hold meetings with their security committees and come up with strategies to rid their areas of illegal miners, land grabbers and bandits.
He stressed that the state government would not fold its arms and watch criminals take over the state adjudged as one of the safest in the country.
According to him, the meeting also mandated the council bosses to compulsorily hold a joint security meeting every last Thursday of the month in their respective councils beginning from February 2024.
He said the outcome of such meeting must be made available to the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters before the end of each month so that the ministry could take the decisions or findings of each of the councils to the state governor.
Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor