The Nigeria government has suspended mining activities in Zamfara State and ordered foreigners operating in the area to vacate immediately as the Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with the Nigerian Military and other Security Services launch offensive to eliminate armed banditry and other criminal activities.
Addressing news men today, Sunday, in Abuja, the nation’s Federal Capital, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu said that with the suspension of the mining activities, the security agents would now move in to fully commence “Operation PUFF- ADDER” which is 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.
“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.
“Meanwhile, in the face of intelligence report that has clearly established a strong and glaring nexus between the activities of armed bandits and illicit miners -with both mutually re-enforcing each other, the Federal Government of Nigeria has directed as follows:
“Mining activities in Zamfara and other affected States are hereby suspended with immediate effect. . Consequently, any mining operator who engages in mining activities in the affected locations henceforth will have his licence revoked. . All foreigners operating in the mining fields should close and leave within 48 hours e want to assure the general public, especially in the affected areas that the security services are doing their best to address the situation.”
The police boss appealed for the cooperation of the local communities, especially the traditional and religious leaders within the community.
The IGP frowned at the use of social media by sponsors of criminals to spread fake news, falsehood and deliberate misinformation.
He advised the media practitioners and Nigerians to exercise restraint in circulating unconfirmed information capable of doing more damage to us all. “Let us not allow the social media to hijack our sense of judgment and capture our minds negatively.”