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NSCDC Arrests 11 Illegal Miners, Impounds Three Trucks In A’Ibom

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Akwa Ibom State Command has confirmed the arrest of 11 illegal miners in Afaha Ikot Osom, Ibesikpo Local Government Area of the state.

The Defence Corps in a statement issued at a press briefing at the Command’s headquarters in Uyo on Friday by its State Commandant, Mr Eluyemi Eluwade said it impounded three tipper trucks used in the unlawful mining operations.

Eluwade said that based on complaints of severe environmental degradation stemming from mining and excavation activities in the location, the Command on Jan. 10 deployed operatives to the site, who promptly arrested the suspects.

“The Akwa Ibom State Command of NSCDC has arrested 11 suspects and impounded three tipper trucks for carrying out illegal mining activities in Afaha Ikot Osom, Ibesikpo Asutan LGA to the detriment of the environment.

“Following complaints of severe environmental degradation stemming from mining and excavation activities in the location.

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“On Jan. 10, 2024, deployed personnel of the corps to the site who arrested 11 suspects and impounded three tippers, generator, shovels, wheelbarrows and other materials used in excavating sand,” Eluwade said.

Eluwade denounced the extent of environmental harm caused by miners, particularly those who operate without a license.

He stated that the offenders refused to comply with multiple orders to stop work on the site after it was determined that it constituted a major threat to nearby homes and public facilities.

He urged illicit miners to regularize their operations by acquiring a license from the Federal Mines Office.

The state commandant advised licensed miners to consider the environment when extracting sand and other earth minerals.

“I want to state that mining should be carried out by licensed persons on lands/sites that are duly approved to be suitable and should be done within the environment-friendly framework as approved.

“Our office has received lots of complaints from citizens over the potential dangers posed by extreme dredging and excavation of sand, granite and gravel, and the possibility of erosion and sinkholes around people’s homes,” he said.

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