Some communities in Biase and Akamkpa LGAs have commended the Cross River State government for deploying security personnel to take over all illegal mining sites.
The State government had issued a letter yesterday, signed by Dr Alfred Mboto, Permanent Secretary, Security services, banning all forms of illegal mining activities in the State.
The government warned that illegal minings constitute a threat to the safety and security of those areas.
The government charged the security personnel to seal up mining sites and arrest identified illegal miners in the State.
The statement said, “Governor Ben Ayade has placed a total ban on all illegal mining activities in the State forthwith.
“Security agencies have been directed to seal all illegal mining sites and arrest and prosecute all illegal mining companies and persons involved in these illegal activities.”
DAILY POST reports that about three months ago, there were reports about the collapse of mining sites in Biase LGA which reportedly claimed many lives.
Reacting swiftly to the ban in Biase LGA, HRH Atte Obhort, Sunday Evong, the clan head of Akpet Nation, commended Governor Ayade.
He said the ban will ensure that the state gets rid of illegal miners who exploit and cart away their natural resources without proper engagement with local communities and state government.
The monarch assured the government of their support and readiness to furnish the government with all the ongoing activities concerning illegal mining companies within their domain.
“We, the good people of Akpet Nation, sincerely thank the State Governor for taking the bull by the horn. We also commend the House of Assembly for being very proactive in carrying out their duty.
“We are very happy that the State government will get us out of this quagmire being orchestrated by some very mischievous elements around our community. The Governor’s quick intervention through the ban for having the interest of my community and the State at large is highly commendable,” he said.
Last month, traditional chieftains of many mining communities in the State had expressed anger at how several mining firms, as well as illegal miners, wantonly plundered their mineral resources, enriched only themselves but impoverished them.
In Akamkpa and Biase local government areas, countless mining firms, as well as illegal miners prospect for natural resources, tearing open lands wantonly and frequently do not declare what minerals they have discovered.
These often cause friction between them and local communities who feel cheated.
Evong said miners should no longer ill-treat mining host communities as if they do not matter.
“The situation where they exploit our resources and leave us bare, we are not going to accept such deprivations any longer.
“The natural resources they mine from our communities were given to us by God. So, they must carry the people along.
“The host communities should also enjoy what comes out from their lands. The poverty level in my community, for instance, is very high. So a situation where miners come and extract resources, enrich themselves without commensurate compensations is not fair at all, and not acceptable any further,” he warned.