By Wole Mosadomi
Minna—Niger State Government has suspended all mining activities in the state with immediate effect.
The suspension affected mostly three volatile local government areas, LGAs, following last week attack on a mining site in Ajata Aboki Village in Shiroro LGA of the state.
The other LGAs are Rafi and Munya.
A statement by Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Ahmed Matane, said the suspension order given by Governor Abubakar Bello, would remain until further notice.
According to the statment, “The decision to suspend mining activities in the state has become necessary as a result of escalating insecurity in the state generally especially in the three local government areas in particular in recent times.
“These mining sites now attract or even accommodate criminals with prospective threats to security of lives and property and as a further step, the State Government has directed security agencies in the state to profile all mining sites in the affected Local Governments with a view to ascertaining their genuineness.”
The government warned that any mining operator caught engaging in mining activities in the areas mentioned would face the full wrath of the law, assuring the people of the state that government would not “scale down pressure on the armed bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and other criminal elements until they are flushed out of the state.”
The statement urged the people of the state to be more security conscious and report all suspicious characters, movements, or objects in their communities to security agents for action.
On Saturday, communities in Ajata-Aboki where the mining company attacked by terrorists is located had asked owners of the company to relocate from the area to give peace a chance in the area.
They claimed that the location of the mining company in their community had been attracting terrorists to their villages; hence the need for them to quit the area immediately.