By Andy Chukwu
The Federal Government has banned mining activities in Zamfara state, ordering foreigners within mining sites to vacate the area immediately.
The government has also launched a special operation to stop bandits in the state.
Mohammed Adamu, acting inspector-general of police, disclosed this after a security meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja on Sunday.
Adamu said the licences of individuals and companies that disobey the directive to stop the activities would be revoked.
“Consequently, any mining operator who engages in mining activities in the affected locations henceforth will have his licence revoke.
“All foreigners operating in the mining fields should close and leave within 48 hours,” Adamu said.
He assured those living in the affected areas that the security services were doing their best to address the situation.
He said the police in collaboration with the military and other security services had commenced “Operation PUFF- ADDER”, a full scale security offensive against the bandits.
“The operation is aimed at reclaiming every public space under the control of the bandits, arrest and bring to book all perpetrators of violence in the area and their collaborators, achieve a total destruction of all criminal camps and hideouts, mop up all illicit weapons fueling the violence and attain a full restoration of law and order in the affected communities,” he said.
“Our commitment at protecting the sanctity of life and property is irrevocable, and we will not scale-down the pressure on the armed bandits until they are totally flushed-out.”
The development comes 24 hours after some protesters marched to Aso Rock to draw attention to the security situation in Zamfara.
Many have been killed while property worth millions of naira destroyed in attacks by armed men.