As Residents Cry Out Over Security Threat.
Despite being chased out a few months ago by the Edo State government from the various gold mining sites in Dangbala community in Akoko Edo local government area of the state, the illegal gold miners have staged a brazen comeback, carrying on with their nefarious activities thus posing security threat to the people.
Curiously, as residents of the embattled community raised the alarm on Tuesday over the dastardly operations of the illegal miners, the Zonal Mining Officer, (ZMO) in charge of the area, Abdulkadiri Adamu, claimed to be oblivious of the latest development.
The residents, under the aegis of Concerned Residents of Dangbala, in a statement signed by Godwin Amusa, Convener, and Agbaje Lawani, Secretary, made available to newsmen in Benin-City, feared that if not handled with dispatch, the situation could snowball into serious security threat. They lamented that “The once peaceful community has been turned into something we fear may snowball into what will become a problem to the community and state as a whole.
These people move in with their equipment at ungodly hours and carry on with their activities with impunity. With the way they go about these activities, one is forced to believe that they have outside forces backing them.
“As I speak with you, the leadership of the community is divided on the matter. While some pretend not to know what is happening, others who are speaking against it are being shut down. This is the reason why few of us came together and decided to come out publicly to call for urgent action to be taken by the authorities to stop this madness that may become security threat if not handled with dispatch.”
The hapless residents said it became imperative for them to cry out in order to avoid the Zamfara State situation, adding that not only had the increased competition among the illegal gold miners created tension in the community, but that their activities have become an issue of security threat in the area as they now sleep and wake up with the fear of not knowing what to expect in the community.
According to them, apart from to not just the area but the state as a whole, both the state and the federal government were losing huge revenues through these illegal activities.
Recall that earlier in the year, the community had raised similar alarm over the same issue, prompting the intervention of the state government which gave them a marching order to quit the sites.
They consequently vacated the community only to stage a come-back. The concerned residents regretted that the illegal miners returned to the community few weeks ago, more determined to continue from where they left off.
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Claiming ignorance of the return of the illegal miners since the sites were shut down, Adamu, zonal mining officer, said “Edo State government placed embargo on the activities of miners in the area and I’m not aware that they are back there”.
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