Tension in Edo Community over Return of Illegal Miners

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin-city

Residents of Dangbala community in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State have raised the alarm over the return of activities of illegal gold miners.

The residents under the aegis of Concern Residents of Dangbala raised the alarm in a statement issued by the President and Secretary of the community, Godwin Amusa and Agbaje Saiki respectively, and made available to journalists in Benin-city yesterday.

The residents noted that it has become imperatives to go public on the issue in order to avoid the Zamfara State situation.

They said not only have the increased competition created tension in the community, but that their activities have become an issue of security threat in the area.

The residents said they now sleep and wake up with the fear of not knowing what to expect in the community.

The community stressed that aside

The security threat in the area and by extension the state, both Edo State and the federal government are losing a lot of revenue through the illegal activities.

According to the group, “The once peaceful community has been turned into something that we fear may snowball into a problem in the community and state as a whole.

“These people move in with their equipment at ungodly hours and carry on with their activities with impunity. With the way they go about these activities, one is forced to believe that they have outside forces backing them.

“As I speak with you, the leadership of the community is divided on the matter, while some pretend not to know what is happening, others, who are speaking against it, are being harassed.

“This is the reason why few of us came together and decided to come out public to call for urgent action to be taken by the authority to stop this madness that may become security threat if not handled with quickly.”

Earlier in the year, the community had raised similar alarm over the same issue.

The miners, however, left the community following the intervention of the state government who ordered the miners to vacate the community.

Meanwhile, Concern Residents of Dangbala said the miners returned to the community few weeks ago more determined to continue form where they left.

Also, the Zonal Mining Officer (ZMO), Federal Ministry of Mine and Steel, Mr. Abdulkadiri Adamu, has said he was unaware of the return of illegal miners to the area since it mines were shut down by the Edo State Government.

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