Police, DSS storm artisan mining sites in Niger, arrest over 100
Posted by News Express | 19 October 2021 | 518 times
By JOHN ADAMS, Minna
Following the ban on all forms of mining activities in Zamfara and Katsina States occasioned by the security challenges in the areas, artisan miners have invaded some communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
The artisan miners said to be numbering over 1,000 have taken over about four communities in the local government with their operational site at Shakwata and Navi communities in Gwada district of Shiroro.
Fear, apprehension and anxiety have gripped the affected communities due to the influx of strangers into their communities on a daily basis, especially with rising bandit activities in parts of the local government.
The Chairman of the Council, Mallam Suleiman Chukuba, recently raised the alarm that about 500 communities in the local government are currently under the control of bandits and some elements of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents.
The influx of these artisan miners, the chairman believed will further worsen the already deteriorating security situation in the area, stressing that the current security situation in Zamfara, Katsina and other parts of Worth west is not unconnected with illegal mining activities in these states.
The chairman, confirming the recent development in his council to our correspondent in Minna, said that the invading artisan miners have caused monumental damage to farmlands.
According to Chukuba, this development, if not immediately checked, will metamorphous to something worse than Banditry, adding that “now that the people’s farmlands are being turned to the mining site, there will surely be resistance from them.
‘If this happens, there will certainly be a breakdown of law and order. We, therefore, need to be proactive as a government so as not to be confronted with another ugly situation that might be worse than banditry.
‘We have therefore reported the development to the police and other sister security agencies in the state and action is already been taken to quickly nip the situation on board. Our hands are already full with challenges from Banditry in the area and we can not afford to have another one,’ he added.
Already over 100 arrests have been made by the Joint Security agents who stormed the illegal mining sites following complaints by the affected communities over the influx of strange faces and their illegal activities which they said pose a great danger to the area.
When contacted, the Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) of the State Command, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed that the police had actually received complaints from the communities over the activities of some artisan miners in the area, but said the police will issue an official statement to that effects soon.
He also confirmed that some arrests have been made by the joint security operatives even though he said the investigation is still ongoing by the police. (Daily Sun)