The immediate halting of all mining operations has been mandated by the Niger State government in central Nigeria.
This was made known in a statement made on Monday by Ahmed Matane, the state government’s secretary.
The statement reads; “Following bandits’ attack on a mining site in Ajata Aboki vvillage in Shiroro local government area of Niger state, the Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has ordered the immediate suspension of all mining activities in Shiroro, Munya, and Rafi local government areas of the state over continued bandits’ attacks until further notice.
“It is observed that these mining sites now attract or even accommodate criminals with prospective threats to the security of lives and property.
“The state government has directed security agencies in the state to profile all mining sites in the affected local government areas with a view to ascertaining their genuineness.”
It occurs just days after insurgents carried out a deadly attack on a mining site, killing over 20 Nigerian security personnel and kidnapped at least four Chinese miners.
Those victims are still in the den of their abductors.
The administration of Niger State is planning to examine mining sites throughout the state because it worries that some privately owned gold and other mines may house criminals.
The federal government also suspects that some of the deadly kidnapping groups that are currently rampant in Nigeria may be receiving funds from mine-based profits.
Nigeria is battling to stop a spate of ransom kidnappings by armed gangs, some of which have occasionally collaborated with insurgents.
The kidnapping epidemic has previously been addressed by suspending mining operations in specific areas, but the solution was unsuccessful.
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