News

April 19, 2024

We’ll punish saboteurs involved in illegal extraction of alleged uranium – Alake

Alake

By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA – THE Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, Friday, vowed to punish saboteurs involved in illegal extraction of alleged uranium in Gwande Local Government Area of Benue State after thorough investigation.

Alake in a statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, Segun Tomori, said he noted “discrepancies in presentations by operators and stakeholders.”

According to the statement, the Minister made the comment after listening to submissions from representatives of the affected mining operators and relevant mines inspectorate officials from the State.

It will be recalled that some weeks ago, a video of 15 trucks laden with minerals alleged to be uranium and extracted from Kwande Local Government, Benue State,went viral.

Following that incident, the Minister ordered discreet investigations by the Mines Inspectorate, which indicated that the video was the result of inter-firm rivalry over control of mining areas.

This prompted the Minister to summon relevant stakeholders from the state to get the true picture of the situation.

The statement also pointed that there were discrepancies in the account divulged by representatives of the communities, the operators and mines Inspectorate officials after the Minister listened to those involved, therefore he vowed to ensure painstaking investigations and bring to book those that might have run foul of the law.

He said: “I have listened to all submissions and noted discrepancies in presentations by operators and stakeholders.

“We will thoroughly investigate all issues related to the incident and any operator found culpable will have their licenses revoked, if some of our officials also connived to perpetrate sharp practices, they will also be made to face the full weight of the law.”