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Association raises the alarm over insecurity, attack on residents

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There is fresh anxiety in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State as hundreds of illegal miners hitherto ordered to vacate gold and other solid minerals sites in Dagbala village have reportedly relocated to Ikpeshi, Atte and other communities where they now carry out mining activities.

The activities of the illegal miners have heightened tension in the communities and created insecurity following the influx of people from neighbouring Ondo and Kogi states into the area.

It was gathered that the illegal activities strive in connivance with some top officials of the Federal Ministry of Mines in the state. An official of the ministry was reported to have relocated to an area where these illegal activities were being perpetrated.

To check the development, a security aide to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Mr. Haruna Yusuf, said the state governor would not watch illegal miners driven out of Dagbala to return to any other part of the state.

“My attention was drawn to it on Monday. We have chased away all people from Dagbala gold sites and our eagle-eye security men are on the lookout. We want peace and security in Edo State. I was just told about Ikpeshi and we are going to take necessary actions,” he said.

However, the Zonal Mines Officer, South/South and Federal Mines Officer in charge of Edo State, Abudulkadir Usman Adamu, denied any involvement of his ministry with illegal miners.

He advised interested miners seeking to obtain licences to discuss with such community before embarking on the exercise. He said, “I don’t know what to say when people make such allegations. It is my duty to go round every day and I move around. I am not supposed to be in the office. Even now, what we are strategising to go back to Edo North because that is the most pronounced area in terms of mineral resources.”

Licenced solid mineral prospectors had, in March 2021, raised the alarm over the activities of illegal miners and called on the ministry of mine to halt their works.

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