The Chairman of the Taraba State Task Force Committee, General Jeremiah Faransa (Rtd), has lamented the involvement of over 20,000 residents in illegal mining and deforestation in the state.
He said that over 100 ring leaders and foreigners have been arrested, adding that the state government will not lower its guard in the fight against illegal miners and those bent on acts of deforestation across the state.
It was an unannounced invasion of the illegal miner’s camp by the taskforce team set up by the Taraba government following the ban on illegal mining and deforestation.
Upon arrival, the team uncovered makeshift shanties and locally made guns used by some of the illegal miners alleged to be used for kidnapping and other banditry activities.
Acting on the directives of the state governor to destroy everything found on each mining sites, the task force team set ablaze all machines and makeshift shanties at the mining site.
Some of the illegal miners arrested on site pleaded for mercy as they claimed ignorance of the ban by the state government.
“I’m from Adamawa State, what brought me here is specifically mining, I have spent a month and two weeks. My uncle sent me here to be the secretary, though the chairman has escaped,” one of the illegal miners Usman Abubakar said.
Nasiru Adamu, who supplies sacks to the illegal miners, said, “I’m an indigene of Kaduna State. I was into business in Oyo State and was deceived by my friend to supply sacks worth 800 thousand naira for carting away of mineral resources. I have spent two months here already.
After carrying out the team’s mandate, chairman of the task force committee and his members are here to give update on the successes recorded so far.
According to the Chairman of the task force, finding shows that the mining activities constitute a great danger and breeding ground for banditry.
Faransa also disclosed that the task force confiscated 22,275 kilograms blue sapphire.
He appealed to the legal miners and investors to await new directives by the governor for further engagements.