Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara issued a ban on illegal mining in the state on Saturday and ordered security agents to shoot violators of the order on sight.
The governor’s media aide, Suleiman Idris, quoted Mr Lawal as saying in Gusau that the order was part of measures to restore law and order.
Mr Lawal noted that illegal mining had fuelled banditry and other criminal activities in parts of Zamfara over the years.
“Illegal mining is undeniably one of the driving forces behind the rampant banditry plaguing Zamfara.
“We must take swift and decisive action to curb this menace and restore peace and security to our communities,’’ Mr Idris quoted Mr Lawal as saying.
The governor ordered security agencies to take other stringent measures against those violating the order.
According to him, it is time to end the destructive activity and implement measures to protect the safety and well-being of the people.
“The directive is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the people of Zamfara and deter potential wrongdoers.
“It is also a swift action to enable the government to be in total control of the state’s resources and block activities that endanger the lives and properties of the people,’’ the governor said.
Former Governors Abdulaziz Yari and Bello Matawalle previously banned illegal mining, saying it fuelled several cases of insecurity that ravaged Zamfara communities, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and properties.
In June 2019, Mr Matawalle constituted the anti-illegal mining committee to enforce the ban he announced in April of the same year. The committee’s inauguration also came months after President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime prohibited mining activities in Zamfara to curb insecurity.
However, despite the ban, the activities persisted in the North-Western state.