Nigerian News

I received threats for revealing that powerful Nigerians are behind illegal mining – Minister

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, has disclosed that he’s been receiving threats for his remark about some powerful persons being behind the worsening insecurity and illegal mining in Nigeria.

Alake made this known during his visit to the site of an explosion in Adeyi Avenue, Bodija area of Ibadan, Oyo State, on Monday.

He said that his remarks about the involvement of influential and well-positioned Nigerians in illegal mining was not something new, and all he did was give it an official stam.

The minister said; “If you follow my budget defence at the House of Representatives or Senate, I did say categorically to the whole world that powerful Nigerians are behind the banditry associated with illegal miners in this country.

“I said it openly, of course, I received threats, but we are undaunted because these things have to be said, and in any case, I wasn’t saying anything new, most people knew it.

“Many people have been saying it, I only gave it an official stamp, based on intelligence reports. So, there is a lot of connivance along and among the strata of the society, both high, medium and low.

“It is not an exclusive preserve of just a high hut. It cuts across the strata of the society. So, this is a societal problem, and I did say at that meeting at the budgetary defence that we were employing both kinetic and non-kinetic strategies and tactics to combine all of these. The details I won’t be able to reveal publicly now because that will also be un-strategic.”

Furthermore, Alake gave assurances that the Federal Government is collaborating with stakeholders at the state, local government, and host community levels to halt the activities of illegal miners.

“One of the things that happen now, even in the forest, that is unknown to many people is that the bandits who the highly placed Nigerians are sponsoring have access to funding and heavy arsenal.

“They even laid mines on the ground against our ground forces that were moving in the forest to dislodge them. That is why we require the military’s presence, involvement and engagement,” he added.