The Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum on Tuesday described President Muhammadu Buhari’s ban on mining activities in Zamfara State, as a double-edged sword for the Northwest region.
It warned that the ban could precipitate another security challenge considering underlying socio-ethnic tensions between the Hausa and Fulani of the region concerning gold mining.
The group advised the federal government to take control of mining sites in Zamfara and other states, as a way to forestall fresh problems.
A statement signed by its president Akin Malaolu reads: “The two decisions which banned mining activities in Zamfara and no-fly zone order are double edge sword for peace in the Northwest region because of the suspicion that it could rob Peter to pay Paul.
“The reasons for our fear can be traced back to the period between 2006 and 2007 when the then Governor Sani Yerima displaced a large population of Fulani from many mining sites and implanted Hausa youths to take charge. The displacement at that time caused both discomfort and death on the Fulani youths who then took to banditry life.
“If the government is placing a ban, we hope they won’t cause a new displacement that could re-enact the same security challenges we are yet to surmount.
“Our candid advice is for the federal government to take absolute control of mining sites in Zamfara and other states to nip in the bud such more scenarios of troubles.
“Nigerians ought to be told the whole truth about the story that gave rise to banditry in the Northwest of Nigeria. Fortune has been made through unofficial gold mining for decades and now is the time to put a complete stoppage to corruption in that sector. The no-fly zone is proper.”