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Yoruba group says ban on mining in Zamfara may lead to another crisis

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A group, the Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum has warned that the ban on mining activities in Zamfara State over insecurity concerns by President Muhammadu Buhari may precipitate another security challenge in the state.

The group, which refered to the underlying socio-ethnic tensions between the Hausa and Fulani of the region concerning gold mining, described the ban as a double-edged sword.

The group, in a statement by its President, Akin Malaolu on Tuesday, however advised the federal government to take control of mining sites in Zamfara and other states, as a way to forestall fresh problems.

The statement reads: “The two decisions which banned mining activities in Zamfara and no-fly zone order are double edge sword for peace in the Northwest region because of the suspicion that it could rob Peter to pay Paul.

Read also: Like Northern elders, Yoruba group kicks against review of 1999 Constitution

“The reasons for our fear can be traced back to the period between 2006 and 2007 when the then Governor Sani Yerima displaced a large population of Fulani from many mining sites and implanted Hausa youths to take charge. The displacement at that time caused both discomfort and death on the Fulani youths who then took to banditry life.

“If the government is placing a ban, we hope they won’t cause a new displacement that could re-enact the same security challenges we are yet to surmount.

“Our candid advice is for the federal government to take absolute control of mining sites in Zamfara and other states to nip in the bud such more scenarios of troubles.

“Nigerians ought to be told the whole truth about the story that gave rise to banditry in the Northwest of Nigeria. Fortune has been made through unofficial gold mining for decades and now is the time to put a complete stoppage to corruption in that sector. The no-fly zone is proper.”

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