AN URGENT OPEN LETTER TO KOGI STATE GOVERNMENT AND THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER AND STEEL OF NIGERIA .BY COMR. FELIX SOLOMON OMACHOKO . This is to inform kogi state Government and the members of the public of the on going intimidation and illegal mining in OGENAGO IDEDE COMMUNITY OF IMANE DISTRICT, OLAMABORO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KOGI STATE,by unknown ” AIRA INTEGRATED RESOURCES SERVICES NIGERIA LIMITED” Headed by one claimed Engr. Jideofor and his collaborators in crime with the following phone numbers : 0905655561, 08025190284. OGENAGO (IMANE) which is blessed with a huge reserve of coal and rich arable land for cocoa and other farming has become a high environmental risk zone, with the obvious degrading effect of mining in the Community bad roads that lead into the village, attesting to the arable land the community is blessed with.
Aside the large expanse of agricultural lands that have been destroyed by the evident impact of illegal mining, is the obvious poverty which community members live in.
OGENAGO community has no maternal child care facilities/service centres, no potable water and no secondary school for the poor members of the community .This ongoing illegal Mining has robbed our community of its only source of drinking water, agricultural lands and produce and degraded the environment such that our community is at the risk of landslide and flooding. Several efforts has been made by the poor and defenseless members of the community but only abortive as there is concrete allegations of some high profile individual from both IMANE community and the local government officials influencing the whole abnormalities. They have destroyed our land; they have destroyed our farms and have refused to give us compensation or even carry us along…. They threaten to beat our community chiefs and sons over our own right. Our community is no doubt a looming natural disaster waiting to happen as deep open wells and mining channels have led to the falling of many economic trees and agricultural produce.
OGENAGO presently have over 100 open mining pits and nine mining ponds with contaminated water which is neither good for human consumption nor agricultural purposes. Sadly, the pits are still counting as fresh mining going on even to this very moment of petition.
The community’s only drinking water source has been poisoned and community members have to trek very long distances to get drinking water for their personal needs or make-do with the mineral filled water.
Lives are no longer spared in our community as people fell sick almost every day with our community members suffer terrible itching and skin conditions as a result of the exposure to the effect of mining in our community. The youths in the community had been promised gainful employment on the commencement of mining activities in the community , tarred roads, a hospital and scholarship for students in the community but none of the promises has been fulfilled.
Mining has left about nine adulterated water ponds and poisoned our only source of drinking water. They have destroyed our farms and our women are suffering. They promised us a hospital but we did not see anything .No efforts had been made by either the local government or state governments to address the drinking water challenge the community is suffering as members are forced to trek long distances to get drinking water or buy sachet water even when they can barely afford to meet their basic needs. We are using this medium to call on the members of the public, the state, federal, the local government and all the sons and daughters of ODA-OJI- ji kingdom, to come to our aids before we all perish…OUR REQUST: (1)There is an urgent need to fill up the open mine pits both for the security of lives and stray animals, as well as restore the environment for the benefit of cocoa farmers.
(2)There is also an urgent need to begin developing immediate social infrastructure to give the people a sense of belonging and benefit to the natural resources nature has blessed them with.
(3)There is also an urgent need to provide medical assistance to the community so that community members can be fully checked to ensure their health status.
Finally a major question begging for answer in OGENAGO is why the state government and the local government issues tickets to miners, considering the fact that mining is on the exclusive list meaning that the federal government is responsible for mining activities?? Though as a law abiding citizens We are aware that know no one is allow to take law in to his or hands, but if urgent attention and solution is not been provided as regards to the above prayers and requests, we have no option than to defend our lives to a logical conclusion..God bless kogi state. Felix Solomon Omachoko
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