content="30a40ca14a930b1700e67b08c2bdaf72"> Miners have wrecked irreversible damage to Taraba – Gen Faransa - Rhapsodi Affos Blog

Miners have wrecked irreversible damage to Taraba – Gen Faransa

From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo

General Jeremiah Faransa, the chairman of the task force set up by the Taraba State Governor on illegal mining and deforestation prohibition has disclosed that the activities of illegal miners have caused irreversible damage to the environment.

Faransa disclosed this at a Press conference held in Jalingo on Monday.

He said that Miners operating in the state are notorious for not complying with set rules guiding mining are have caused damage to so many areas that the places are no longer usable either for farming or other activities.

“What we have seen in the field is terrifying. For instance, Miners have excavated Akwana on both sides such that if there are any security threats, the people will be at extreme risk because there is no escape route. We have to correct this trend because those miners are not from here and have no issues destroying the land just to get what they want and leave.

“The situation is similar to that of the Ogoni Land which is completely destroyed and the Zamfara where mining activities have created insecurity at a level that is unbearable. It is either the right thing is done or the battle line is drawn. We are not stopping investors in any sector but due process must be followed to ensure environmental protection and people’s safety.

“You are supposed to refill the land for up to 80% after excavation but this is not followed. The community development is also not done, contrary to the set guidelines. This is our state. What is the state benefiting from these activities? Billions have been taken out of the state with nothing accrued to the state. This must stop. We must make sure that things are done right, otherwise, there won’t be business as usual.

“Most of the children who are supposed to be in school are turned miners because they offer cheap labour. The risk is that we are unconsciously grooming criminals as we have seen in other parts of the country. Taraba State is the home of mineral resources. There is nothing you are looking for that you can not find in Taraba. In fact, most homes are sitting on huge treasures.

“I was in Gashaka and met with the company and we went round. The terrain inhibited us from going to certain areas. Most mining sites are inaccessible. The game reserve is no longer there. It is gone. It is taken over by farming and mining activities. It is now living on lost glory” he said

The chairman denied allegations that the committee stole some of the items they recovered from the Miners, stating that “as a committee, we didn’t take even a pin. We didn’t even see gold. I was accused of raping Six women and it is all lies. At my age, where do I have the strength to rape six women? It’s all lies and lies.

“In Mayo Seni, the company continued with its activities, despite the order from the state government. We caught the company still excavating. So we arrested them and recovered over 32, 000kg of Blue Sapphire. While most companies complied, some felt they were too powerful to be disturbed.

He further disclosed that “more than a hundred persons have been prosecuted. The problem is that the prisons are filled so we only take the ring leaders and foreigners to send to Court”.

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