By Uche Mbah
Over the years, blood has been dripping from the rafters of governance in state with the story being subsumed in political expedience and apparent nonchalance from the All Progressives Congress led Federal government. But the recent massacre has become significant because it came at a time when Nigeria is on Auto pilot.
Currently, all the principal heads of governance in Nigeria are outside the country on one engagement or the other. The President, Vice president and the senate President are out of the Country, leaving a constitutional and security vacuum that could spell disaster.
Coincidentally, it took this vacuous period for the Zamfara crisis to escalate. Armed bandits over the weekend attacked Zamfara killing at least forty people. Kursasa, Kurya and Gidan Achali communities in Shinkafi Local Government of the state were reportedly targeted.
This appeared to be the last straw that broke the Carmel’s back. Khadaria Ahmed, a well-known Journalist from Zamfara people. According to her, the military should be in Zamfara fighting armed bandit. Shortly after she demonstrated, the Inspector General Of Police banned Illegal mining in Zamfara.
It took many by surprise seeing the decade old crisis linked to illegal mining of solid minerals. This Magazine learnt that most of the mines have already been bought by some retired Generals and prominent politicians. Beyond that, the Chinese were said to have been part of a clandestine organization of mining groups that involves some Emirs in the North. “Mining in the North is becoming more lucrative than crude oil.If you are not part of the mining cabal you will never penetrate them. That is why no minister of Solid Minerals will ever make any mark”, a source told this magazine, indicating that anyone who wants to be involved in mining of the solid minerals has to apply through the Ministry of Solid Minerals, who will refer him to the real owners of the mine.
If he is right, it will explain the conflict in Zamfara, which appeared to be a clash of powerful interests in the state mining industry. And the seeming helplessness of the security Agencies may be linked to the caliber of the backers of the illegal miners.