The setting of the meeting was business-like just as the resolutions therefrom point to a win-win situation for stakeholders in the mining industry in Ijesaland particularly, and Osun state in general.
The Asiwaju of Ijesaland and Chairman Ijesa Mineral Resources Development Forum (IMRDF), Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi led a team comprising of Vice Chairman 1, Mr Supo Shadiya, Arc Ayo Osunloye, Lady Dupe Ajayi Gbadebo, Mr Wale Idowu, and Mr Femi Esan to meet with the Osun State Government over the activities of illegal Miners polluting the multimillion Naira Water Project proposed to serve Ijesaland from Kajola-Ijesa.
The Osun State Government Team led by State’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon Adeyanju Binuyo, also included the Commissioner for Environment, Engr Sola Oladepo; Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon Hamidu Tadese; Chairman MIRENCO, Chief Molade Binuyo; Managing Director, Osun State Investment Promotion Agency, Mr Femi Adeniran, Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources, Engr. Adeniran Ibitoye and State Representative of NESREA.
The meeting, which was at the instance of the state government followed public complaints on Kajola water pollution by the gold miners which the IMRDF brought to the attention of the state government recently. By the notification, the IMRDF had hoped for a workable template that will foster safe and environmentally-friendly mining operation in Ijesaland.
This positive expectation turned out a reality following the successful meeting of the two parties held today at the state Secretariat, Osogbo.
In his opening remark, the State Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Abdullahi Binuyo welcomed everyone to the meeting with good tidings from the Governor, stressing that the presence of key officers of the state government underscored the importance of the meeting and the high esteem which IMRDF is held.
While agreeing to the concerns of the IMRDF on the Ilesa water pollution, Mr Binuyo was quick to allay fears on the use of mercury and other dangerous chemicals by miners as confirmed by the various tests conducted on the water especially the one that was carried out in Germany.
The commitment of the present government according to Binuyo “underscores the prioritisation of people’s welfare, health and safety by the present government in the scheme of things “
One shocking revelation by the Deputy Chief of staff is the culpability of some Ijesa Obas who engage illegal miners and collect rent from them for selfish gains.
Responding, Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi, who appreciated the Governor’s dynamism and responsiveness explained that IMRDF mission is ensuring that mining in Ijesaland and by extension, Osun state conforms to global best practices.
As messengers of Ijesa people, he insisted that independent investigations on the water pollution point to the use of dangerous chemicals with equally debilitating consequences on people’s health.
He sought for the sharing of the report on the non application of dangerous chemicals at the mining sites to further reinforce the confidence of the people in the government on this matter. He advised government on timely and proactive responses on such weighty issues to avert crisis.
He added that IMRDF is setting up consultative bodies at the local levels to foster deeper relationships and advocacy goals attainment which will also be beneficial to the government.
Asiwaju Fasuyi urged the government to see IMRDF as a partner such that they too can initiate invitation to IMRDF and notify the body on observations before they snowball into crisis.
Few others spoke on synergy and a sustained advocacy by IMRDF for greater and long term effect.
Hopefully, a strategic relationship between IMRDF and Osun state government has been born, the dividends may not be long in coming

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