A devastating landslide, believed to be the result of illegal mining activities, has left 30 individuals dead in the Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. In a parallel incident, 19 people were reported abducted in Bwari Area Council, sending shockwaves through the region.
This grim revelation came to light during a crucial meeting between the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, and the chairpersons of the six Area Councils, convened to address the growing challenges facing the area.
Expressing his deep concern over these developments, Minister Wike pledged immediate action. He stated his intention to engage with the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Commissioner of Police to gather comprehensive information regarding the abductions and to coordinate rescue efforts.
Furthermore, Minister Wike issued a directive for the establishment of surveillance task forces within the council areas to closely monitor mining activities, especially illegal ones, which have proven to be a cause of instability.
In a move to tackle the issue at its core, Wike promised to collaborate with the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, to combat the rampant problem of illegal mining within the FCT.
During the meeting, local council chairpersons raised several pressing issues, appealing for assistance from the Minister. Key concerns included inadequate funding for local government systems, rising insecurity, challenges in the development of satellite towns, sanitation problems, and land allocation disputes.
Chairman Danladi Chiya of the Kwali Area Council emphasized the need for improved funding and addressed the ongoing issue of insecurity, mentioning the recent kidnapping incident in Bwari Area Council.
Chairman Abdullahi Sabo of the Kuje Area Council brought to attention the menace of illegal mining and its associated dangers, pointing to a recent landslide that claimed numerous lives.
Minister Wike assured the council chairpersons of his commitment to address these concerns, drawing upon his experience as a former council chairman. He stressed the importance of collaboration, irrespective of political affiliations, to ensure the well-being of the people in the FCT.
Wike urged the council chairpersons to work collectively, emphasizing that what affects them also affects him, and he vowed to prevent any attempts to shortchange the Area Councils.
In the face of rising insecurity and sanitation challenges, Minister Wike called for unified efforts, suggesting the adoption of a common template for waste disposal. He also promised to address the issue of illegal mining, taking proactive steps to curb its detrimental impact on the region.