About 29 persons have been arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), for alleged involvement in illegal dredging and mining in prohibited sites in Imo State.
This was disclosed on Saturday by the State Commandant, Dajuma Elisha in Owerri, the state capital.
While parading the suspects at the Command Headquarters, Elisha said the arrest followed ceaseless complaints and reports by the state government, of the activities of illegal miners and dredgers.
He explained that their illegal mining activities have continued to deface the city, thereby causing environmental hazards like pollution and land degradation.
According to the NSCDC boss, the suspects will be profiled and prosecuted accordingly.
“We are here to work and we must carry out the governor’s directive to its fullest by ensuring that the environment is safe for all.
“Illegal mining is impacting negatively on the lives of people in Imo.
“It is one of the causes of landslide and heavy flooding, so we will not allow it to happen again,” he said.
Elisha added that the feat was achieved following the synergy of operations existing among security outfits in Imo.
One of the suspects, Kelechi Nwokocha, who pleaded for forgiveness, said he has been in the business for seven years.
“I was arrested at Worie River at Nekede Old Road.
“I am aware that we are doing illegal business and our mining activities are impacting negatively on the environment.
“If I am given a second chance, I will not go back to illegal mining again,” he said.
Elisha however, urged indigenes in this line of business, to quit and find a legal source of livelihood.
By Emmanuella Ibe…
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