By NWOGHA NDUBUISI ANDY, Abakaliki
Ebonyi state Commissioner for Solid Mineral, Hon. Jonah Egba has called for immediate closure and stoppage of work at all the illegal mining sites in Ameka Ezza South and other parts of the state.
The Commissioner gave the directives when he visited some of the mining pits in Amajim Ameka in Ezza South Local Government area, following a report that a worker died in one of their pits in the area.
Egba who frowned at the rate some individuals and communities flout government policies, noted that those found in such act would be brought to book and made to face the law.
He, however, directed the Coordinator of Ezza South Development Centre, Mr. Solomon Nwafor, traditional ruler of the community, major stakeholders and operators of mining sites in Ameka to come for a meeting in his office for further explanations and discussions on how to bring to an end unapproved mining activities in Ameka community.
Speaking during the visit, the traditional ruler of Ameka Community, HRH Ezeogo Martin Nwali decried the negative effect of such activities in the place.
He revealed that such illegal mining activities have led to several losses of lives,stressing that efforts to stop such acts in the village proved abortive.
He added that he was informed of the latest tragic incident by the development Centre Coordinator and town Union President of the community.
On his part, a youth leader in Amajim village, Mr. Celestine Omoha, told the Solid Mineral Commissioner that reports from those working at the pit has it that three laborers were working inside the pit when some parts collapsed and killed one of them. According to Mr. Omoha, it took the efforts of a hired excavator to bring out the dead body for burial.
In an interview, Coordinator of Ezza South Development centre, Mr. Solomon Nwafor explained that he immediately called on the attention of the traditional ruler and the State Commissioner for Solid Mineral when he received information about the pit collapse and death of the youth. The Coordinator pledged to work with stakeholders and the Ministry of Solid mineral to stop all activities of illegal miners in the area.