Following the spike in banditry which has led the death of hundreds of citizens, the federal government has suspended mining activities in Zamfara State and its environs with immediate effect. This, according to the government, follows the glaring establishment of a nexus between the bandits and illegal miners. The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, announced […]

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Following the spike in banditry which has led the death of hundreds of citizens, the federal government has suspended mining activities in Zamfara State and its environs with immediate effect.

This, according to the government, follows the glaring establishment of a nexus between the bandits and illegal miners.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, announced this in an emergency press briefing in State House Abuja on Sunday, attended by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Director General, Department of State Services (DSS); Yusuf Bichi and Director General National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar.

The police boss also said all foreigners operating mines in the area have been ordered to leave within 48 hours or have their licenses revoked.

He said a combined team of security forces will be dispatched to the area to take control.

Adamu reiterated that “Operation PUFF-ADDER” which is a full-scale security offensive against the bandits has already been put in place.

Reading from a prepared text, he said: “As part of sustained efforts to flush out and permanently put an end to armed banditry and criminality in Zamfara State in particular and the North West in general, the Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with the Nigerian Military and other Security Services has commenced “Operation PUFF- ADDER” which is a full scale security offensive against the bandits.

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“The operation is aimed at reclaiming every public space under the control of the bandits, arrest and bring to book all perpetrators of violence in the area and their collaborators, achieve a total destruction of all criminal camps and hideouts, mop up all illicit weapons fueling the violence and attain a full restoration of law and order in the affected communities.

“Our commitment at protecting the sanctity of life and property is irrevocable, and we will not scale-down the pressure on the armed bandits until they are totally flushed-out.

“Meanwhile, in the face of an intelligence report that has clearly established a strong and glaring nexus between the activities of armed bandits and illicit miners -with both mutually re-enforcing each other, the Federal Government of Nigeria has directed as follows:

“Mining activities in Zamfara and other affected States are hereby suspended with immediate effect.

“Consequently, any mining operator who engages in mining activities in the affected locations henceforth will have his licence revoked. All foreigners operating in the mining fields should close and leave within 48hours.

“I want to assure the general public, especially in the affected areas that the security services are doing their best to address the situation.

“May I appeal for the cooperation of the local communities, especially the traditional and religious leaders within the community.”

The police IGP also cautioned against the use of social media to misinform the public on security issues.

He added: “Meanwhile, we note the use of social media to spread fake news, falsehood and deliberate misinformation. We, therefore, urge our citizens to exercise restraint in circulating unconfirmed information capable of doing more damage to us all.

“Let us not allow the social media to hijack our sense of judgment and capture our minds negatively.”

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Source:Tribune Online