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Hours after protest, IGP announces ban on mining in Zamfara State

ACTING Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has announced a ban on mining activities in Zamfara State following reports that it could be the reason for increased insecurity in the state.

Adamu made this known while speaking to journalists after a security meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Sunday.

This is coming barely 24 hours after citizens in Abuja embarked on a peaceful protest to the State House on Saturday to demand more proactive steps to boosting security in Zamfara State and its environs.

Adamu said all the companies mining gold in Zamfara have been directed to suspend their activities failure of which their licenses would be revoked.

Foreigners working on the various mining sites were directed to leave with immediate effect.

The IGP also announced the launch of a special security operation to curb the operation of bandits in Zamfara state.

At the #MarchforZamfara protest on Saturday, one of the protesters told The ICIR that the killings in Zamfara are a result of the quest to grab more land for mining activities.

“The killings don’t just make sense,” the protesters said on the condition of anonymity.

“Zamfara is a poor state, what else do the bandits want? They come to a village and just open fire, killing as many as they could and forcing the others to flee in fear. It’s land grabbing they are after. The villagers flee and they take over the place for the gold mining activities.”

The same sentiment was re-echoed by Najeeb Bello Oyarese, a Twitter user, who shared a post saying that “the recent regular mass murders in Zamfara is beginning to make some sense. The crisis is not about bandits at all, but about massive gold deposits being mined by locals, and turf wars being fought by different groups, clans, and overlords to control the largest mining sites.”

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