The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, has accused security operatives of assisting illegal Chinese miners activities in Plateau State.
The minister made the accusation while addressing security operatives in Kampani Zurak village in Bashar chiefdom of Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State.
“It is sad that security operatives are giving them (illegal miners) security cover. If not, why do people guard this site?” he said.
“These miners are illegal. Government did not give them permission to do this, they are economic saboteurs.” he continued.
On Monday, the National Security Adviser, Ali Monguno, ordered for the arrest of 20 illegal miners, including eight Chinese citizens.
“This cannot happen anywhere else in the world and we will not allow it anywhere in Nigeria. We do not want these miners,” The minister told the security agents.”
The state governor, Simon Lalong was not also happy with the incident. He said the government would sanction any traditional ruler found to have connived with the miners to exploit the community.
Mr. Lalong also alleged that the miners excavate minerals from the site worth N5 billion monthly.
Reacting to the arrest of the illegal miners, the member representing Wase in the House of Representatives, Idris Maje, urged that the arrested miners be bought to book.
He also advised that the sites be guarded against further saboteurs.