Many Nigerians on social media have protested against “illegal mining” in Lagos and Osun communities.
Expressing their displeasure through the Twitter hashtag #StopChineseIllegalMining, the protesters stated that Chinese miners have made themselves lords of the Nigerian natural resources.
They also called on the necessary government agencies to check the activities of the miners in Lagos and Osun communities.
“Marching with pride to protect our soil and environment. Chinese illegal mining has gone too far, and it’s time to put an end to it. Together, we can restore balance,” a tweet said.
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Residents living in Osun communities earlier complained about the unlawful mining operations done by the Chinese which have continued to pose tremendous risk.
In December, 2020, residents of Opa community in Osun accused a team of Chinese miners of environmental abuse and encroachment on their land.
The miners, who were allegedly looking for gold, had purchased a small portion of land near a stream from a local chief.
However, they later expanded their mining activities to other parts of the community, digging close to some houses and causing damage and flooding, according to a reports on national dailies.
The residents said they tried to stop the miners but they were ignored and intimidated by armed policemen guarding the site.
Although the past Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, promised to regulate the activities of miners in the state in 2019, residents of the affected communities said it has not yielded much result.
The plan was to register all miners operating in the state to prevent crime and environmental degradation.
Three years later, residents are still complaining about the illegal activities and the untold hardship it continued to heap on them.
Many media outlets also reported that some quarry operators fought with residents who were agitating over the illegal mining activities in their community.
The residents had accused the quarry owners of blasting rocks indiscriminately, causing air pollution, noise disturbance, and damage to buildings.
Even though the quarry operators had always denied the allegations and claimed that they had obtained the necessary permits and approvals from the government and the traditional ruler, residents continue to find justifiable reasons to call for illegal miners, dominated by the Chinese, to be stopped.