Following the arrest of 20 illegal miners, including eight Chinese citizens in Plateau State on the order of the National Security Adviser, Ali Monguno, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, has accused security operatives of aiding and abetting illegal mining activities.
The former Governor of Ekiti now Minister of Mines and Steel Development, who addressed security operatives in Kampani Zurak village in Bashar chiefdom of the state, said;
“It is sad that security operatives are giving them (illegal miners) security cover. If not, why do people guard this site?” the minister said. Fayemi described the illegal miners as economic saboteurs. .
“These miners are illegal. Government did not give them permission to do this, they are economic saboteurs. This cannot happen anywhere else in the world and we will not allow it anywhere in Nigeria. We do not want these miners,” a fuming Mr. Fayemi told the security agents.
Also speaking on the incident, the Governor of the State, Simon Lalong, said government would sanction any traditional ruler found to have connived with the miners to exploit the community. Lalong also threatened to transfer the divisional police officer in charge of Wase LGA for allowing the illegal miners excavate the land.
Lalong, who was visibly furious over the activities of the miners, alleged that the miners excavate minerals from the site worth N5 billion monthly. In 2014, this community lost over 10 people due to contaminated water following activities of the illegal miners.