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ECOWAS parliamentarian, Odebiyi warns against coming wars in sub-region

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A member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Parliament), Senator Tolu Odebiyi has alerted the sub-region of coming wars in the area and Africa over stiff competitions for the control of the rich mineral resources of the continent by foreign powers.

At a parliamentary seminar organised by the ECOWAS Parliament in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Odebiyi, who represented Ogun West in the last National Assembly, warned that, if African leaders fail to address the activities of illegal miners which have brought untold miseries and destructions to the ecosystem, the continent faces another phase of recolonisation by the foreign powers who are currently scrambling for the control of the strategic minerals in the region through local surrogates.

He said: “The current crises playing out in Africa, especially in West Africa are as result of the ambitions of foreign powers to control the abundant mineral deposits in the region. They are going to instigate wars in order to seek total control of our resources. This may result into the recolonisation of Africa”.

Odebiyi identified West Africa as battle ground for the next wars because of the abundance of various strategic mineral resources which the leading geo-political powers in the world seek to control and appropriate to themselves. He noted that it was in the character of these extra-African powers to instigate conflicts in the various States which would enable them to extract these resources unimpeded.

He called for the strengthening of the regulatory frameworks and strict enforcement of the laws banning illegal mining in all Member States of ECOWAS.

He observed that the activities of illegal miners who are aided and abetted by foreign business interests have led to the destruction of many communities and pauperization of the local populations who receive nothing but peanuts from the Multi-nationals operating in remote communities in the region.

The seminar examined the implications of illegal mining in West Africa.

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