Saturday, 25 May 2019


Our discussion today is as a result of security concern arising from the activities of miners. This is not to say miners are criminals. All we know and we have confirmed is that, there are criminal elements who take advantage of the presence of people they know here and come into the state under the disguise of mining only for them to stark creating problems. This is a serious security concern.

The whole thing started from Zamfara, let me say the North West. I happen to have worked around that area and I know initially it was a problem of cattle rostling then gradually transformed into kidnapping. The situation where people were kidnapped not only on the road but they were pursued to their houses at night and kidnapped. Now it is banditry that encompasses all these other problems coupled with direct attacks on communities. If you have been following development in those areas you will know that whole communities have been sacked and hundreds of people killed. So, this is a very serious problem. And this is what has brought us here courtesy of our Governor.

It is a situation where it is very difficult to contend when it starts that is where it is very necessary and important for all stakeholders to team up together, synergize, map out strategies to address this issue, otherwise by the time it becomes full blowing it will be difficult.

As it is now there are indicators that is already getting bad, because I am here just about two weeks ago and I have gotten report of three kidnappings. This is very bad!

In other to contain this issue we have been able to identity some roles to be performed by the various stakeholders; the government, security agents, miners, traditional rulers..we all have a stake and until we realize the fact that we all have a role and we have to play this role seriously with all sense of commitments, we are going to face a serious problem in the near future.

Let me start by saying this; the government is already aware of its own role and it has started.  Even this very forum is as a result of government's efforts and from what previous speakers have said, government is trying to streamline the sector to make it modern and and to litigate or related security issues. Let me start with the role of traditional rulers.

Traditional rulers are expected to perform their roles as Chief Security Officers of their respectful communities because they are in charge. In other to perform this role, they have to be domicile, they have to reside in their communities because there is no how you will know what is happening fully in your community if you leave in Osogbo and you only go to your community to attend meetings and come back. You need to be on the ground. That is when you full details of what is happening and then know what should be done. They are also to ascertain and profile tenants and would-be tenants. Those who come to look for houses, those who are already renting, they should be able to liaise with Security Agencies and landlords and document all of them. You will now know where they are coming from, their mission in the community and so on and so forth. So that if there are bad elements among them, you can now report to the Security Agencies to keep track on them. Such information is very important.

They are also expected to establish vigilante groups. Young men that can use to move round to get intelligent information and relate with Security Agencies to assist them. I know this is a difficult task because people will complain of money, how to take care of them. But at least you can always relate with the council or with the government.

They must also maintain regular interface with Serikis and other communities leaders to review issues surri the movement of migrant miners or artisan miners because it is through the same Serikis that big time miners get people to employ as workers. So, when you relate with them, they will help you to know whether there are criminal elements among them.

Now, the role of community members, that is to all of us who are living in the community. Our role is similar. You have to help the Security Agencies in securing information of security interest and then pass them to Security Agencies for action.

Role of Security Agents in managing security challenges is where the main work is. We on our part will maintain a very robust relationship or working relationship with other Security Agencies in States where we hve banditry as a result of managing mining activities. For instance, in Zamfara, there isca Federal Task Force there and they have been very useful. I was told they pass in a very credible information that led to us to know that there were some bandits that were on their wanted list of the task force that have relocated to Osun. I think the operation was carried out in conjunction with the military, some people were invited but later we found out that they had quickly relocated back to some other States. The only probr is when you have such intelligence you have to manage them professionally because if you don't their will be compromise and when there is compromise there will be operational failure and that is very critical. There should be a periodic engagements of stakeholders by in the mining business by the Security Agencies. We have to be meeting with them from time to time; the Serikis, the Federal Mining Officers, the relevant agencies of the State Government to review security operations relating to crime of the nature identified. You identify them to identify lapses or gaps and look for alternative measures.

The immigration is very familiar with what they should do and this they have been doing. That is to register foreigners who come in as miners and if there is the need to carry out any operation when it arises, we are there to assist.

You will now realize that the totality of what I have said all revolve around information sharing between members of the public and Security Agencies. Information is power, if you have information, you have an edge over your adversary. So we need this information from all of you. Feel free and give us. Let me seize this opportunity to give you my numbers; my own and then two of my deputies. My number is 07064559837, 08035954991, 08037781298. Anytime you have any information that you think we need, call anytime, we don't sleep, telephones are always by our ears and we will be quick at answering you.

Thank you for listening

(Director of DSS in State of Osun....full name and photo withheld by blogger for security reasons)

Other Photos from the event...All photos credited to Oladimeji Lasore)

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