The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kwara command has arrested five suspected illegal miners and recovered over 70 bags of gold ore at a mining site in Odonigi village, Moro Local Government Area of Kwara state.
Officials of the NSCDC combed the bush for nearly three hours before getting to the spot of the illegal mining.
Several of the illegal miners took to their heels with their dogs inside the thick bush, immediately they noticed the presence of officials and men of the Civil Defence Corp.
The suspected illegal miners created several big holes at various locations of the mining site where the gold ore and tantalite were excavated.
The five suspects arrested are Mohammed Yahya, Mohammed Joffa, Aremu Rasaq, Aliyu Ndagi while the fifth suspect who was described as their leader, Engineer Mumini Usman was arrested in llorin.
Some of the items recovered from the mining site were over seventy bags of gold ore which is known as crude gold, tantalites, ten motorcycles, rifles, charms and implements used for digging holes.
All the recovered items were loaded in two tippers and deposited at the state office of the NSCDC.
While on the way, a drama ensued as a military vehicle with some military men accosted the NSCDC officials asking for the release of the suspects citing a well-known traditional ruler in the state but the NSCDC were adamant and took the suspects to their office.
The Federal Mines Officer in charge of Kwara, Hussein Ahmed who was on the convoy of the NSCDC said the mining activity at Odonigi was illegal.
However, the State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Pedro Ideba wondered how people could rip the country of economic minerals and urged them to register with relevant authority instead of engaging in illegal mining.
Speaking after receiving the recovered items, he described the act of illegal mining as economic sabotage which deserves punishment.
He noted that the illegal miners are sabotaging the effort of the federal government at revamping the nation’s economy which has been in comatose.