President Muhammadu Buhari at a recent event in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, said what many Nigerians have always believed to be the situation; that there is a criminal cartel using proceeds from mining, especially in Zamfara State, to fund their criminal activities.
The President, represented at the event by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Uchechukwu Ogah, said since most mining activities were taking place in remote places, it was easy for criminals to infiltrate the mining industry. He also added that the money made from the industry was being used to fund criminal activities to the detriment of the economy of the country and its security.
He said: “The reality of this truth is most obvious in the minerals sector given the fact that mining activities take place in remote localities. Our intelligence gathering efforts have confirmed that most of these criminal elements have infiltrated the mining industry and are using it as means of funding their despicable activities.
“It is with this understanding that we recently took the painful but necessary decision of banning all forms of mining activities in Zamfara State, where armed banditry has persisted.
“It is also to this end that I directed the ministers of Mines and Steel Development to strengthen collaboration with state governments and relevant security agencies to ensure the security and safety of all mining areas. In so doing, we can achieve sustainable development of the minerals sector for the peace and security of our great country and good people.”
This address from President Buhari, which sounded more like lamentations, however raises questions begging for answer.
Whose fault is it that criminals have infiltrated the mining industry and allowed to use money made from the nation’s resources to destabilise the country?
Whose responsibility is it to enforce the laws of the land; the same laws that forbid questionable characters from getting hold on the nation’s commonwealth. Whose responsibility is it to monitor the inflow and outflow of illicit money and illegal arms used by the criminals?
President Buhari, simply put, has just admitted his failure to do the needful, do his job properly and be responsible for the security of lives and property of citizens and enforce the laws of the land to the letter.
In saner climes, such admittance was capable of leading to resignation, with sobering apologies or alternatively, a passage of vote of no confidence by the legislative arm of government. Unfortunately, Nigeria may yet not qualify to be classified as a ‘saner clime’.
For now, every and all things goes no matter how rediculous and negatively impactful on the daily lives of citizens.