Sun News reports that the Niger State Police Command has arrested over 100 miners in Shakwata and Navi communities, Gwada district, in the Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.
The state government had banned mining activities due to the security risk.
Residents had expressed fear over the influx of strange faces into their communities, especially with rising banditry activities in parts of the local government.
The Chairman of the council, Mallam Suleiman Chukuba, while confirming the arrests, said the presence of the miners had done “monumental damage” to farmlands in the area.
“This development, if not immediately checked, will metamorphous to something worse than banditry. Now that people’s farmlands are being turned to mining sites, there will surely be resistance.
“If this happens, there will certainly be breakdown of law and order. We therefore need to be proactive as a government so as not to be confronted with another ugly situation that may be worse than banditry.
“We have reported the incident to the police and other sister security agencies in the state and action is already being taken to quickly nip the situation in the bud.
“Already, over 100 arrests have been made by joint security agents who stormed the illegal mining sites following complaints by the affected communities.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed that the police received complaints from residents over the activities of miners, but said the command would issue an official statement on the matter later.
He, however, confirmed that some arrests had been made by the joint security team.