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Opinion

Those involved in illegal extraction of uranium will be punished – Alake

Following a comprehensive investigation, Benue State’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, promised on Friday to punish saboteurs involved in the illicit extraction of purported uranium in the Gwande Local Government Area.

Alake highlighted “discrepancies in presentations by operators and stakeholders,” according to a statement he saw and that was signed by the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori.

The statement claims that the Minister made the remark after hearing arguments from appropriate State mine inspectorate authorities and representatives of the impacted mining operators.

You may remember that a few weeks prior, a video of fifteen trucks filled with what appeared to be uranium—minerals taken out of Kwande Local Government in Benue State—went viral.

The Minister instructed the Mines Inspectorate to conduct covert investigations after that occurrence, and the results showed that the film was the product of rivalry between mining firms for control of mining sites.

In order to obtain the whole picture of the situation, this prompted the Minister to call in pertinent state stakeholders.

The statement also indicated that after the Minister listened to those involved, there were differences in the accounts provided by the operators, community representatives, and Mines Inspectorate officials. As a result, he pledged to ensure thorough investigations and hold those who may have broken the law accountable.

He said: “I have listened to all submissions and noted discrepancies in presentations by operators and stakeholders.

“We will thoroughly investigate all issues related to the incident and any operator found culpable will have their licenses revoked, if some of our officials also connived to perpetrate sharp practices, they will also be made to face the full weight of the law.”

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