Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has defended recent ban on mining activities in Zamfara State by the Federal Government.
Adamu, who stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting on security held in Gusau, said the decision was “to bring an end to the wave of bandits’ attacks and kidnappings in Zamfara State as miners are accessories to the crimes.”
He said investigations had shown that miners were aiding and abetting bandits hence the decision by the government to ban mining activities in the state.
“The ban was to cut off the collaboration between miners and the bandits and kidnappers to end the senseless killings and kidnappings in Zamfara State,” he said.
Bandits killed 3,526 in Zamfara, says Yari
Speaking at the meeting, Governor Abdulaziz Yari said 3,526 persons were killed by bandits in the state in the last five years.
He said, “Nearly 500 villages have also been devastated and 8,219 persons were injured. Some are still in critical condition.”
The governor, represented by Secretary to the State Government, Mr Abdullahi Shinkafi, also said over 13,000 hectares of farmlands were destroyed by bandits.
“The economy of the state has seriously suffered because thousands of shops were destroyed by rampaging bandits who had displaced thousands of our people from their places of abode, many of who cannot sleep with their two eyes closed again because of fear,” he added.
Yari said the government had written a 7,000-page report that gave details of the crises right from the beginning to the infiltration of bandits from Libya and Boko Haram fighters.
The governor, who said the government was aware of eight bandits’ camps in the state, urged security agencies to destroy them in order to decimate the criminals.
The governor said the suspension of mining activities in the state by the Federal Government must “be followed by enforcement, because it is one thing to ban, it is another thing to enforce.”