The Edo State Government has announced stringent measures against Federal Government mining officers found to be authorizing illegal borrow pit operations in the Obagie N’ Evbosa area of Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area. Governor Godwin Obaseki issued this stern warning during an inspection tour of the borrow pit site at Obagie ‘N Evbosa, accompanied by other members of the State Executive Council.

Governor Obaseki expressed his shock at the scale of illegal activities taking place at the site. He highlighted the severe environmental threats posed by these unauthorized mining operations and reiterated his administration’s commitment to halting all illegal sand mining activities in Edo State.

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“The people involved in these operations have shown a blatant disregard for law and order. They lack respect for government directives,” Governor Obaseki remarked. “We previously issued a warning to operators of borrow pits to cease activities until we designated appropriate areas for sand borrowing. However, from what we have observed today, it appears these operators are defying government authority. This is a direct challenge, and the government will respond with the full force of its authority.”

Governor Obaseki emphasized the environmental dangers posed by these illegal activities. “Our environment is at serious risk. If we allow these activities to continue unchecked, we will face significant losses of land and entire communities. The Transmission Company of Nigeria has already raised alarms about the threat to transmission lines due to sand mining in areas hosting critical national infrastructure.”

The governor condemned the actions of the borrow pit operators, labeling their activities as both illegal and illicit. He stressed that his administration is fully committed to ending these practices. “We are sending a clear warning to federal mining officers in the state who grant these unauthorized permits: we will arrest and prosecute those involved,” Obaseki declared.

“This is not a Banana Republic where laws can be flouted with impunity. The reckless destruction of our environment will not be tolerated. If these activities continue, communities in the affected areas will face the risk of landslides and mudslides in the coming years due to the destabilized terrain,” the governor warned.

Governor Obaseki concluded by reiterating his administration’s determination to protect Edo State’s environment. “Our city is under threat, and this government will take all necessary actions to stop those engaged in illegal sand mining. We owe it to our communities and future generations to safeguard our environment from such reckless exploitation.”

The Governor’s visit and subsequent statements underscore the urgent need for regulatory compliance and environmental stewardship in Edo State. The government’s stance serves as a strong message to all parties involved in illegal mining activities that their actions will no longer be tolerated.