FG mediates to end dispute between Ibeshe community, dredging firms
Federal Government has embarked on amicable settlement of the crisis between Ibeshe community in Ikorodu, Lagos State, and two dredging firms over mining rights in the area.
During an inspection tour of the sites last week, a two-man delegation led by the Acting Director, Monitoring and Coordination, Nigerian Mining Cadastral, Abuja, Jacob Udoh, accompanied by the Head of Survey, Augustine Bakoshi, were conducted round the disputed area by all the parties involved.
Udoh said their mission was to meet with the three parties to the issue – the Ibeshe community, Glossands and Eva & Kings – to explore ways of resolving the lingering dispute over the disputed mining area.
We have been communicating via correspondences, but now want to establish where Glossands and Eva & Kings are operating to enable the cadastral office determine who has the right over any land, who has the community’s consent, and where both have it, to determine where their lands are.
We are statutorily empowered to issue licenses to mining areas, and it is based primarily on community consent. Two licences cannot be given for a particular spot at the same time, but where a party applies and in the course of investigation the community consent is discovered not to exist or has been forged, we have the power to withdraw that licence,” Udoh said.
Before they toured the disputed sites, the Otun Asashi of Isashi, Chief Rafiu Aregbesola, who spoke for the Olubeshe-in-Council, maintained that in the over 20 years of their operation, Glossands had only employed an indigene, with no other significant positive impact on the area.
According to him, Glossands has crossed the little bush separating it and Eva & Kings, which hosts the community’s deity that has been worshiped since over 600 years, and we don’t allow strangers near that place. I am the custodian of the community and we don’t want monopoly and would urge each person to mind his own waterfront.
Responding to Glossands’ claim to an existing agreement with the community, Aregbesola said the community never gave consent to Glossands even though it has operated there for over two decades, but only agreed on royalties.
“Glossands had never come to Olubeshe-in-Council with any request for consent since 2007 when the present monarch ascended the throne. Anyone parading consent outside this council is doing so in error.”