JALINGO – The Police Command in Taraba says at least one person has died and six others injured during a clash between illegal miners and policemen in Mayo-Sina, near Nguroje, Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba.
The command’s Spokesman, ASP David Misal, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that one policeman also got missing as a result of the clash that occurred on Thursday.
He said the police had on Monday directed the illegal miners to vacate the site within 48 hours, but refused to comply.
According to him, when a unit of Police Mobile force arrived the site on Thursday to enforce the directive, they were attacked by the miners.
“This action cost the life of one person while several others got injured and are receiving treatment at Gembu General Hospital and other hospitals in the area,’’he said.
NAN reports that the illegal miners from the Mayo-Sina mining site had in the past resisted several efforts to disperse them.
Misal explained that the site had also been suspected to be a breeding ground for criminals.
Investigations also revealed that the illegal miners came from other states such as Zamfara, Sokoto, Borno.
Some others came from Mali, Cameroun, Niger republic, Chad and Central African Republic, with bulk of unskilled workers coming from Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba.
Commenting on the development, the Acting Chairman of Sardauna Local Government, Mr Godwin Sol, said the Joint task force from the Federal Ministry of Mines had asked the illegal miners to vacate the site but refused.
Sol dispelled rumours that it was a clash between farmers and herdsmen, pointing out that it was purely an illegal mining issue.
He, however, said the entire Local Government Area was now peaceful, and the Mayo-Sina mining site was also calm as the illegal miners had been moved from the area.