Posted by News Express | 19 August 2021 | 406 times
Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has threatened to sanction miners who dig pits within Ebonyi, unearth mineral resources, and leave the mineshafts uncovered, thereby making them deathtraps across the state.
Umahi who was very unhappy that miners are benefitting from the state without giving back to the people said his government will ensure they are held accountable for the devastations they have caused so far.
“You destroy the people and even destroy their future; and the Ebonyians that collaborate with these enemies of the state, they will hear from us,” the governor said on Monday.
Governor Umahi’s comments come on the same day when the decomposing body of the All Progressives Congress (APC) youth leader in Ebonyi State, Ogochukwu Elem, was pulled from a mining pit in Abakaliki.
Also pulled from the ditch were the bodies of two others who were with him when his car, a Volkswagen Golf, plunged into the trench on Saturday.
The State Ministry of Infrastructure availed a crane which was used in pulling the bodies, with the help of local divers.
It was gathered that Mr Elem and the other occupants were on their way to Ikwo for a function when the car lost control and plunged into the pit, off the Abakaliki-Ikwo Road.
The incident happened at Enyigba axis of the road in Abakaliki Local Government Area.
Efforts to bring out the victims and the car failed on Saturday and Sunday.
Governor Umahi who was at the scene of the incident helped to direct the search and rescue operations.
On the way forward to curbing the menace, the governor said he and his Chief of Staff, who doubles as Commissioner for Solid Minerals, will lead the process of identifying all pits dug by miners across the state, with the aim of bringing those who dug them to justice.
“We are going to identify all the pits in Ebonyi State, whether it was dug for lead, for zinc, for chippings and other minerals in Ebonyi State, we have to identify who did it.”
While noting that the battle with miners in the state has been ongoing for a very long time, Governor Umahi said it is unfortunate that the lands the miners destroy cannot be taken back.
He also decried that what is supposed to come to the people do not get to them, a situation he described as “man’s inhumanity to man”.
Governor Umahi assured the residents that all which pertains to mining activities in the state will be thoroughly looked at in the interest of the people.
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