Association of Miners in the North_East zone has condemned the dislodgement and arrest of its members from a mining site by the Taraba state task force on illegal mining, insisting that the site is domicile in Adamawa state and not Taraba.
The Association also claimed that its members were manhandled by security agents working with the task force while Gold worth millions of Naira were also seized from the miners.
The Association therefore called for immediate release of its members adding that its members were conducting their mining activities legally in Adamawa soil and have fullfiled all the provision of law before embarking on their lawful activities.
Addressing Newsmen in Jalingo on Monday, Shaibu Maizare, Secretary Association of Nigeria miners North_East zone, said it was very wrong for Taraba state task force on illegal mining to forcefully encroch into Adamawa to arrest the miners who were carrying out their legitimate activities in a land which does not belong to them.
The Secretary disclosed that the site of the mining where their members were arrested is located in a village in Toungo local government three Kilometers away from Dogo Yansu a boarder village on the side of Taraba.
He stated further that “Adamawa state government is fully aware of our activities while all the traditional rulers were fully informed of our presence because we have the valid documents and approval for mining activities before we entered the area” he said.
According to the zonal Secretary, the site where its members were carrying out the mining activities before their arrest was at the border between Taraba and Adamawa state, adding that the site is located in Toungo local government area of Adamawa state which shared a boundary with Bali local government in Taraba State.
” we as an Association, we would never support illegal mining in any form and we welcome well intended reforms in the mining but however due process should be followed in implementing such reforms”
“It was wrong for the Task Force to arrest miners from Adamawa soiel and bring them to Taraba for prosecution ” he said.
Maizare advised the Taraba state government to make proper findings to ascertain the location of the site where the miners were arrested from.
He said the task force was misled before it entered the mining areas to arrest the miners and dislodged the over three thousand miners whose whereabouts is still unknown.
The Secretary urged the Task force committee to release those arrested and in the custody of Nigeria Civil Defence Corps as well as those already charged to court in interest of peace and justice.
Efforts by our correspondent to reach the Chairman of the newly constituted Task Force committee on illegal mining, Major General, Ali Faranser rtd. Proved abortive as all his cell phones were unreachable.
It was gathered that the Task Force committee invaded Dogo Yasu, a village in Bali local government bordering Toungo local government area of Adamawa state last week and arrested over 3000 miners.