Zamfara govt reports over 31 illegal miners

R-L; President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Bello Muhammad Matawalle during the presentation of some GOLD Bars and Precious Stones from the State to the President at the Presidential Villa State House Abuja Monday Night. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE.

By Ismaila Chafe

Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on security developments and the activities of illegal miners.

He said that already over 31 foreign illegal miners have so far been repatriated  from the state.

Matawalle made this known to State House Correspondents after he met behind closed doors with the president at the State House, Abuja.

The governor said 11 Chinese illegal miners and 20 others from Burkina Faso and Mali were repatriated to their respective countries.

“I discussed the issue of illegal mining in my State with the President and he directed the office of the National Security Adviser to form a task force on illegal mining, which can go round the State to fish out these illegal miners.

“Most of them are not Nigerians but with the support of the Army, Police and other security agencies in the State, some of these people were apprehended and repatriated back to their countries.

“Eleven Chinese were repatriated and over 20 from Burkina Faso and Mali.

“And it’s because we have a porous border particularly between Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina with Niger Republic which people always use to come in.

“But measures are being taken by the Nigerian Immigration Service, I know they now use drones in some of these areas.

”I have a lot of confidence that will help check such infiltration and henceforth we may not have such foreign nationals coming into our country through the back door.”

Matawalle called on the federal government to take measures that would check the activities of illegal miners so as to harness the untapped mineral resources in States for the benefit both the central and state governments.

NAN

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