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Sand miners takes Ambode to the cleaners

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… stop work order, signage of double standard

 By Lanre Adesanya

The Federal Cadastres Miners Association operating in Lagos State, aided by Activists for Good Governance, has demanded for a reverse of recent stop work order by the state government on account of alleged double standard and unconstitutional actions taken by its Ministry of Energy and Mineral resources, which largely conflicts with the jurisdiction of Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals on mining matters.

Addressing a press conference today in Lagos, the association faults Governor Ambode’s recent order to sand miners to halt operation in the state, noting that cronies of the government who are by all parameter illegal operators are  now major benefactors.

The miners stated unequivocally that, “since January, 2016 the Lagos State government through the ministry of energy and mineral resources gave a stop work order banning the activities of sand miners in Lagos, is an order that is illegal, strange and totally unknown to the 1999 Nigeria constitution as amended.

Citing section 39 of the second schedule part1 of the exclusive list of the 1999 constitution which vests the control of mining activities to the Federal government as sole authority in this matter and an appeal court judgement which upheld that the power of control of mining activities is not vested in any state government as precedent.

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The release signed by Comrade Declan Ihekaire, read in part, “Lagos in this matter have demonstrated a double standard-it has on one hand engaged in indiscriminate consent issuance using different fronts to extort various sums of money from legitimate miners ranging from N250,000 to N1m,now issues a working order to their cronies and favoured choices in and out of government. One sad example of this is the authorization of the Oloja of Epe with the handful privileged people to mine illegally where the legitimate miners have been deprived mining”.

“We make bold to say the Governor is ill advised on this order and to save the imbroglio from festering futher, he should reverse the order”.

Placards wielding members of the association, later embarked on a protest to drive home their demand, with the following inscriptions conspicuously displayed; “Governor Ambode we are legitimate licensed miners,Mining is not about me being an indigene,Mining is not about tribalism/kinsmanship,Revenues accruable to the Federal Govt.stopped, owing to the stop work order by Ambode”.

The protesters also denounced two individuals, one Cardoso and Oyebade who they regard has moles, in a voice vote of no confidence.

They however threatened to tale take to streets in a full blown protest government to accede to their demand soon.

Notable amongst the embittered miners are Alhaji Abiola Idris,Alhaji Taofeek Badejo,Engr.G.A Ashiru and Madam Eyitayo.

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