The misunderstanding between the cartels that are involved in illegal mining in Zamfara is responsible for the lingering crisis and killings in the state Dennis Amachree, a former Assistant Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) has said.
“There are cartels there and most of the fighting you see there are fights between different cartels.” He said that illegal mining of mineral resources was a main cause of the violence in the state.
Speaking on Channel Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, he said: “The disagreements between the cartels were taking a toll on the state, resulting in the death of innocent people. Many people don’t know; what we see is fighting, killing, and all the rest. But the undermining issue there is the illegal mining of minerals.
I think we have a serious problem in Zamfara and I think it’s basically a lack of governance. I can tell you, the kind of money that is coming out of the illegal mining is more than what oil is giving us today.”
He regretted that despite the security reports forwarded to government authorities in the state by intelligence agencies, the situation was worsening. According to him, the present issue of illegal mining in the state is escalating and it involves a lot of people, including some foreigners.
He described the situation as “a big market” in which natural resources such as gold and diamond were carted out of the country illegally. “I have personal experiences where minerals are being carted out of this country without any control,” Amachree said. Scores of people – including residents, bandits, and security officials – have lost their lives this year as a result of the activities of the criminal elements.