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Mining, A Big Security Threat To Communities In Nigeria – National Park ACG

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The Assistant Conservator General (ACG) of National Park Service Nigeria, Ahmed Abdullahi has said that mining activities has become a big disaster and a security threat to communities in Nigeria.

He raised the concern on Thursday during a stakeholders meeting with the theme; ” End of Project Partnership Meeting” held at Transcorp hotel in Calabar, organised by Widelife Conservation Society (WCS), funded by the European Union (EU).

Worried over their activities in Cross River and parts of the country, the ACG said the issue is not just a problem of National Park but of the whole country.

Describing how illegal miners penetrate most communities in the country, he disclosed that they come in with criminals, militants and kidnappers to intimate the communitys’ members.

He said, ” mining is a big disaster, security issue. When these miners are coming, they come with criminals so that they will intimidate the community members and before you know it, they start operating.

“The situation in Cross River State is very serious. These socalled miners are very serious security challenge. They have perpetuated themselves inside the National Park.They have huge financial muscles to fight.”

Abdullahi appealed to stakeholders in the state to guide their forest and the National Park from miners invasion.

“You have to stop them before they invade your communities.this issue of illegal mining we are experiencing in Cross River State National Park is not a joke, it is a serious issue and we call on the state government to intervain.

“We can’t do it alone, we need to synegise to guide against deforestation.
“Concerned security agencies in both Cross River and Nigeria must wake up now so that we don’t have the situations prevalent in Zamfara, Niger and other devastated states in the northeast part of the country.

In her remark, the state Conservator of CRNP, Caroline Olory said the forest rangers were recently attacked by some illegal miners who have encroached into the CRSNP.

“My men, the rangers, were on patrol with some soldiers on Monday to enforce laws that created the CRNP. But they were attacked, beaten and a rifle destroyed. We have been able to raise 20 of the perpetrators.” She stated.

Traditional head of Ifumkpa community in Akamkpa LGA of the state, Chief Cletus Ibuni worried over increase illegal mining activities going on his community forest.

He appealed to both the state and federal governments to send security personnel to his community to protect his people.

The Chief added, ” Our lives are at risks. The forest rangers are threatened . They can’t do much.”

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