Crackdown On Illegal Miners Should Be Viewed As Battle Against Bandits, Okai Commends Kogi Govt


In a commendable move, the Kogi State Government has announced its decision to take stricter action against illegal miners operating in Ankpa community. The government’s task force has already confiscated over 50 trucks used by these illegal miners to steal the state’s resources.

While this action is praiseworthy, it is crucial that the state government goes beyond this initial step.

It has come to my attention that some of these resource thieves have resorted to forging the signatures of traditional rulers, using them as letters of authority to gain access to the Ministry of Solid Minerals Resources. Therefore, the battle against illegal miners should be viewed as a battle against bandits.

The leadership of the task force must not see this as an opportunity to extort money from these criminals but rather as a call to duty. They should thoroughly investigate and uncover the networks behind these illegal activities. It is essential to ensure that justice is served and the culprits are brought to book.

Furthermore, the state government should compel legal miners to fulfill their corporate responsibility towards the host communities. Many of these communities lack basic amenities such as drinking water and motorable roads, which are being destroyed by the heavy trucks used by the miners. Additionally, schools have been converted into truck parking garages, and farmland is being destroyed, negatively impacting the livelihoods of the local population.

The government’s efforts against illegal miners are commendable, but it is crucial that all actors involved carry out their duties without bias and in accordance with the law and relevant authorities. By doing so, the state government can protect its resources, ensure justice for the affected communities, and promote sustainable development in the region.

– Austin Okai writes from Abuja


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