Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has ordered the immediate shut down of Obu Mines in Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area and ordered the arrest of two BUA cement staff.
The governor gave the orders on Wednesday when he visited the mine site and discovered that work was ongoing despite the directives from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to stop work.
After inspection of BUA mines, Obaseki condemned the impunity shown by the cement manufacturers in carrying on with their mining activities despite mining rights tussle with Dangote Cement which is yet to be decided by the court.
“There is a dispute over the ownership of this mine site. The dispute is in court. There was specific instruction from the Minister of Mines and Steel Development asking that work should stop pending the outcome of the matter before the court.
“I addressed a section of the Okpella community who came to me to express concerns about the growing tension in the community because of the dispute.
“At that point, I issued instructions that work should stop in line with the Federal Government directive and the case in court. I said that status quo be maintained until the determination of the case in court. There is a quarrel and all parties should maintain peace and status quo,” he said.
The Governor also ordered the arrest of two BUA cement staff seen at the disputed site after interrogating them.
He said the state government was more interested in the security of lives and property and although there is a strong drive for investors into the state, no money is worth the life of the citizens.