ZAMFARA State Government has banned all illegal mining activities in the state.
The government has consequently directed law enforcement officers to take stringent actions against violators, including shooting those involved on sight.
Issuing the order on Saturday, September 23, the state governor, Dauda Lawal, said he was ready to tackle illegal mining, a trade often linked to funding criminal activities and exacerbating insecurity.
Over the years, the state has battled incessant attacks from bandits and other terrorist groups.
The terrorists often target communities, raiding villages and abducting people for ransom. These activities have led to a huge loss of lives and property, displacing numerous families and causing widespread fear and instability in the state.
Zamfara had the second-highest number of deaths caused by non-state actors in the first quarter of 2022, with 327 cases.
However, the federal and state governments have blamed attacks from bandits and other criminal activities on illegal mining.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Sulaiman Bala Idris, the governor noted that it was time to end the practice and implement measures to protect the safety and well-being of the people.
He further disclosed that security operatives had been given strict orders to take bold action and shoot on sight anyone found engaging in illegal mining.
He said: “The directive is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the good people of Zamfara and deter potential wrongdoers from committing such acts.”
According to him, the directive would 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,” the statement added.
Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: email@example.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M