In a devastating turn of events, a landslide triggered by the activities of illegal miners has claimed the lives of at least 30 individuals in the Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Simultaneously, 19 people were abducted in the Bwari Area Council of Abuja.
These distressing developments were disclosed by the council area chairman during a meeting between FCT Minister Nyesom Wike and six Area Councils Chairmen.
Expressing his shock and concern, Minister Wike pledged to meet with the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Commissioner of Police to receive comprehensive briefings on the kidnapping incidents and to facilitate rescue operations. Additionally, he directed the council leaders to establish surveillance task forces in their respective areas to monitor mining activities.
Wike also committed to collaborating with the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, to address the issue of illegal mining within the FCT.
Addressing the challenges faced by the councils, Danladi Chiya, chairman of Kwali Area Council, appealed to Minister Wike for assistance. He cited inadequate funding of the local government system, escalating insecurity, and the urgent need for the development of satellite towns. Furthermore, sanitation issues, lack of efficient transport facilities, and problems with land allocation were highlighted as pressing concerns.
In response, Abdullahi Sabo, Chairman of Kuje Area Council, emphasized the menace of illegal miners and the indiscriminate issuance of mining licenses. He urged Minister Wike to engage with the Minister of Mines to curtail mining activities in the FCT.
Minister Wike assured the council chairmen that he would address these pressing issues, emphasizing his commitment to serving all residents of the FCT, regardless of political affiliations or religious backgrounds. He emphasized the need for collaboration between the Councils and his office to collectively address the challenges faced and ensure equitable treatment of all areas within the Federal Capital Territory.
Wike expressed his concern about insecurity, particularly in areas outside the Municipality, and emphasized the importance of information sharing. He also pledged to call an emergency security meeting to address the kidnapping incidents. Additionally, he acknowledged the sanitation problem and proposed a collaborative approach to waste disposal. Lastly, Wike committed to discussing the issue of illegal mining with the Minister of Mines while offering support to the council chairmen in addressing this critical concern.