Teenager Killed, Five Injured As Illegal Miners, Farmers Clash In Niger
A teenage boy has been killed and five others injured at an illegal mining site in Papi village, a suburb community located on the outskirts of Minna, the Niger State capital.
Fourteen-year-old Ayuba Abdullahi was shot dead during a clash that broke out between some illegal miners and farmers in the area.
The incident was said to have occurred at about 4:00am on Sunday.
Ayuba’s father, Mallam Abdullahi, who is into petrol business popularly known as the black market, told Channels Television that his son had set out for the mining site at about 1:00am before he met his death.
He lamented that he got a call some hours later from a colleague of his late son that Ayuba had been shot and his lifeless body was brought home at about 8:00am.
“When I asked what happened, I was told that they (the miners) clashed with some farmers at the site and in the process, Ayuba was shot dead,” Abdullahi narrated.
He added, “We reported the incident to the Maitumbi Divisional Police Station and the body was examined before we buried it around 9:00am. I feel really sad.
“When Ayuba was going out, he asked me to bless him so that he could succeed at his work; I never knew it was the last time I would see my son. He has been in the mining business now for close to three years.”
Channels Television gathered that the illegal miners and the farmers in Papi have a history of misunderstanding due to alleged encroachment by the miners on farmlands of residents in the village.
Miners numbering over 50 and mostly teenagers with others in their twenties were reported to have stormed the site on Sunday, but they met resistance from some farmers.
In the process, Ayuba was said to have been hit by a gunshot and five others sustained various degrees of injury from gunshots and machete cuts.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Niger State, Wasiu Abiodun, told Channels Television that they were yet to ascertain the details of the incident.
Illegal mining activities have been on the increase in Niger State, particularly in the suburbs around the state capital.
Most of the miners are expatriates from the Niger Republic and other north-western states across Nigeria.