Minister of Information says Illegal miners provide arms for bandits in Zamfara
While speaking on Good Morning Nigeria, a programme on the National Television Authority (NTA) the minister said business booms for the illegal miners in a crisis-torn and hostile environment, adding that the miners arm the bandits to make the state ungovernable.
The minister said; “People begin to ask what is the nexus between instability in Zamfara, kidnapping and banditry and illegal mining,”
“There is a lot. For instance, if you are doing illegal mining, abinitio, it is illegal. The more unsettled the area is, the better for you.
“We find out that a lot of ammunition and money were being turned out to the bandits so as to make the area ungovernable. The higher the rate of the crisis, the better for the illegal miners.
“We have a harvest of criminals many of them arrested, their actions neutralized and cache of ammunition recovered.
“On the April 14, they neutralised 11 kidnappers, recovered six AK47, 1200 rounds of ammunition.
“Shortly after that, they were able to arrest those who kidnapped the Channels Television correspondent.”
You’ll recall that the Federal Government recently launched a military operation, “Operation PUFF- ADDER” to tame bandits and also banned mining in Zamfara state.