By Odebamike Sanmisayo
The arrest of over 300 hundred persons including minors and adults with identification in Badagry ended at the Tanko One Station Alausa where bail was set at 10,000naira and the inability of the arrested person to pay resulted in flogging.
The findings as to the cause of this unjustifiable arrest according to the victims is the handwork of a retired civil servant now a contract staff working under Lagos State Ministry of environment named Mr Afolabi. It is said that this man has been the source of afflictions that befell Badagry miners.
According to reports, Mr Afolabi is in the habit of collecting the sum of 200,000naira from the miner in the name of VIA but ever since the miners got registered, though with his help
with the state and federal government under the Badagry Mining Site Association, the “usual money” was no longer forthcoming as the miners have become enlightened and also realised that the association is not under environment but under energy and power.
In retaliation to the miners defiance, Mr Afolabi got thugs to work hand -in – hand with the police to threaten the life and property of the community. He also arrested the shepherd of ‘CCC ogo oluwa akoro’ in agorin. The fishermen in Suntan Beach also claim that they were arrested while going about their daily fishing activities and were also threatened to be locked up for the three weeks he (Mr Afolabi) would be in South Africa if they don’t sort out themselves.
These fishermen have been empowered with machinery by the government to make their work easier and are expected to make payment instalments for the machinery now wonder at how this will be possible if they are kept locked up.
The miners in general who have been given a six month approval by the Ministry are now frustrated with the actions of Mr Afolabi which is acting the laid down procedures as the duty of the ministry is to caution and inspect, followed by a stop work order if mining activities become dangerous and if this steps are ignored, arrest will then be in order.
The Special Adviser to the chairman of Badagry West Local Council Development Area on environment – Hon K.B Ogungbe took the bold step to report this ugly incident.
Some of the miners, fishermen and innocent residence of Badagry are still unlawfully detained at Tanko One police station at Alausa, Ikeja as at the time of filing this report.
Information is key to liberation