PROF. Mohammed Auna, the Provost of Niger State College of Education, Minna, says the activities of illegal miners of gold are both ecological and security threats to the institution.
Auna disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Tuesday following against the recent death of six illegal miners in the premises of college.
He said that the failure of the illegal miners to resist making a living from the risky business was because of the huge sum of money they allegedly made from it.
He alleged that the illegal miners were in the habit of destroying the institution’s fence and encroaching on the school at any time of the day.
Auna described the institution’s security men’s efforts to combat the illegal miners as a herculean task, saying the number of the miners during their illicit operations was usually huge.
“The police arrested 99 illegal miners recently right on campus here while they were carrying out their nefarious activity.
“The school has only 49 security men and that is why we have not been able to really overcome the illegal miners.
“They were always coming in their numbers brandishing sophisticated weapons.
“The Niger State Police Command is disenchanted with the ugly development and has drafted its men to where the illegal mining were being perpetuated,” he said.
The provost,however, said that the school would collaborate with the police in the effort to halt the illegal mining.
Similarly, the institution’s Intelligence Officer,Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, described the death of the illegal gold miners as a “pity”.
He said that a couple was among the dead miners as a result of the earth that fell upon them.
Mohammed spoke on behalf of the institution’s Chief Security Officer, Mr Alfa Gina.
He said the deceased were identified by witnesses as residents of Angwan Kampani and Maitumbi quarters in Minna.
“As I speak to you, four of the deceased are still buried inside the cave; they are yet to be brought out” he said.
Also commenting on the incident, ASP George Emmanuel of Chanchaga Police Divisional Station said that the illegal miners were mainly youths.
“We moved in here since the incident happened but our presence cannot deter them.
“You can see them in their clusters waiting for us to leave so that they can encroach on this place.
“We have to be here 24 hours for us to be able to send them away because as soon as we leave they will find their way back to continue their excavation for gold,” he said.
Emmanuel advised the students of the institution to stay away from the mining site, saying they could fall victims of the shaky ground of the site.(NAN)
– Apr. 17, 2018 @ 18:39 GMT