Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State, yesterday, imposed a ban on unlawful mining operations and directed law enforcement authorities to implement rigorous measures, including an order to shoot at sight against those who defy the ban.
Over time, the unlawful extraction of minerals in Zamfara State has acted as a catalyst for the rise in banditry and various criminal activities.
Governor Lawal, as conveyed by his Spokesperson, Sulaiman Bala Idris, has emphasized the urgency of putting an end to this practice and initiating measures to safeguard the security and welfare of the people of Zamfara.
He emphasized that security personnel had received clear directives to take decisive measures, including shooting anyone immediately caught participating in illegal mining.
“The directive is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the good people of Zamfara and deter potential wrongdoers from committing such acts.“It is also a swift action to enable the State Government to be in total control of state resources and block activities that endanger the lives and properties of the people.
“Illegal mining is undeniably one of the driving forces behind the rampant banditry plaguing Zamfara State. We must take swift, decisive action to curb this menace and restore peace and security to our communities.” he said.
Earlier this month, Mr Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, issued a 30-day ultimatum to illegal miners in the country, urging them to join established mining cooperatives or risk severe legal consequences.
The minister also introduced a new initiative to establish a surveillance task force, comprising law enforcement personnel and other pertinent agencies, with the primary objective of enhancing security in the nation’s mines.
Alongside this, the minister unveiled a seven-point transformation agenda, which includes a 30-day ultimatum for miners and the deployment of security operatives.
Expressing astonishment, he questioned why a nation rich in valuable resources such as gold, bitumen, lithium, and uranium had not harnessed these assets for the betterment of its citizens.
“I am giving illegal miners in this country just 30 days’ grace to join cooperatives or find another vocation. Also, the proposed task force will be domiciled in the ministry and will comprise operatives of all the relevant security agencies.
“For the last time, let me declare again that the ministry is giving such persons 30 days grace to join a miners’ co-operative or find another vocation to do.“On the expiration of the period, the full weight of the law will fall on anyone seen on a mining site without a determinable status. This message will be interpreted into Nigerian languages and broadcast on the radio to ensure no one is ignorant of this directive,” Alake said.