Enugu state Government has again sealed the Ezimo-Agu illegal coal mining site in Udenu Local Government Area of the state. The Government in collaboration with police operatives of the Obollo-Afor Divisional Police Headquarters,, Udenu Local Government Chairman, also arrested 6men and confiscated 7 trucks for allegedly, violating ban on illegal mining in the state.
Pix- (L-R) DPO Attah, SPA Nnaji,Udenu L.G Chairman, Nwodo.
The arrest followed the latest order by the state government that illegal mining operators be arrested ,their operational vehicles confiscated if found at the sealed sites.
Special Adviser to the State Governor on Energy and Solid minerals, Dr Kingsley Nnaji, who visited the site , Wednesday, alongside state Government team, the Divisional Police Officer of Obollo- Afor Police Divisional headquarters, CSP Ignatius Attah, Udenu Local Government Area and police operatives, said the State Government had two months ago, banned illegal mining activities in the state and subsequently, sealed the illegal sites, urging the operators to meet with the state government with relevant documents required for legal mining.
pix- Vehicle conveying the arrested persons to Enugu
He added that some illegal operators flouted the directive and continued mining activities in the state which the Government frowned upon.
He said, following a tip off, the state government got to know that illegal activities were still going on at some of the sealed sites and had come for monitoring an to take inventory of the vehicles confiscated and we’re in Police custody.
The Special Adviser added that the state government is not against genuine investors in the State but illegal ones, who had caused havoc to the state, got the environent degraded and polluted streams from which the people fetch their drinking water.
Pix- SPA Nnaji at the illegal mining site,Ezimo-Agu
“They violated the Court order against illegal mining in Enugu state, two months ago. The State Government gave another order to confiscate the vehicles( trucks, caterpillars), equipments found at the illegal sites and be taken to a Police station and they will liase with the police and the State Government, do the necessary things needed for legal mining before the property will be released.
He said the order included arrest of buyers of coal mined at illegal sites. “If nobody was buying coal , nobody will mine. We are clamping down on illegal miners. We are open to legitimate business. There is a procedure .The buyers should go to the local government chairman, Divisional Police Officer of the area and the State Government, present their documents and seek permission from the authorities ,before going to the site(s). We will follow due process “, Nnaji said.
Pix- Obollo-Afor Divisional Police Headquarters
He warned people in vehicle/ equipment lease businesses not to lease their vehicles and equipment to illegal miners, saying that if they are caught, they will be confiscated.
Speaking, the Divisional Police Officer of the Obollo- Afor Police Divisional Headquarters, CSP Ignatius Attah, said they were working with Udenu Local Government Chairman and will continue to support the state Government in it’s efforts to rid the State of illegal miners.
Pix- Enugu team and confiscated trucks packed behind them.
Six men including two workers, two armed security operatives , one mechanic, and one alledged illegal Coal mining site owner were arrested and taken to Enugu state Police Headquarters. The men were taken to Enugu to meet with the Commissioner of Police, Kanayo Uzuegbu. They made statements and subsequently, detained.
The vehicles confiscated were four trailers , one pay loader Caterpillar,(in Police custody) one low bed and one big conveying truck.
pix- Ezimo-Agu illegal mining site.
Pix- Vehicle stuck at the mining site.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama