Landslide claims 30 as Gunmen abduct 19 in Abuja

At least 30 persons died when landslide triggered by the activities of illegal miners hit parts of Kuje Area Council, a Satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Hon Abdullahi Sabo stated this on Thursday when the Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike held talks with the chairmen of six area councils in Abuja.
He pointed out that illegal mining is threatening the peace of the residents, adding that mining licenses were issued indiscriminately to Chinese nationals, a situation that heightened insecurity in the councils.
“Just few days ago, there was a land slide that took the lives of 30 people as a result of the activities of illegal miners. We appeal to you (Wike) to engage the Minister of Mines to stop mining in the FCT.
“Sanitation is a big issue. It is the duty of the council not just to collect the fees but to dispose refuse. We have to sit down and work together on this by adopting a common template, ” he added.
This was even as about nineteen persons were abducted as gunmen invaded Bwari community on Thursday, September 7, 2023.
Confirming the development, the Chairman of Kwali Area Council, Danladi Chiya said that he also received about five persons who were in captivity for about six days in the kidnappers.
Chiya, who failed to mention if the kidnappers demanded for ransom before releasing the abductors, noted that insecurity is a biting issue in the area.
He said, “When we heard about your appointment, we were happy because you have been a council chairman and therefore understand our challenges.
“Our challenge is the inadequate funding of the local government system. We have the major challenge of insecurity across the six area councils. Just today (Thursday), about 19 people were kidnapped in Bwari Area Council. I just received about five in my council who were in captivity for about six days.”
While appealing to the minister to assist in addressing the challenges, he hinted that sanitation is a big problem in the satellite towns.
Chiya lamented the absence of efficient transport facility, saying that Abuja Urban Mass transit buses are no longer functional.
On land allocation, he harped on the need to involve council chairmen when allocating lands in their domain.
“There is the issue of land allocation. You sit in your council, and your backyard will be allocated to someone you don’t even know. Your graveyards and worship centres will be allocated and we are saying that we should be carried along in terms of land allocation.
“The responsibility of primary school teachers is on the local governments. The UBE’s payment of salaries lies on the council which by law is supposed to be 60-40 percent. We are pleading that you help us so that this issue can be looked into”.
Reacting, Wike promised to summon an emergency security meeting involving the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja as well as the Commissioner of Police.
“The incident of kidnap you talked about, nobody has reported that to me. It is a serious issue and we need to call an emergency security meeting. I have to call the Director of SSS and the CP now to give me more details because it is very embarrassing to me, though I am happy you said the SSS officials and the DPO in the affected council are informed and on the situation, “the minister said.
He also directed the council chairmen to set up surveillance task force in their areas to monitor mining activities, pledging to support their activities.
The minister assured that he would intervene speedily, adding that as a former council boss, he understood their predicament.
He noted that he would meet with his counterpart in Solid Minerals, Dele Alake to tackle illegal mining in the FCT.
“I am here to work for the FCT, not to work for any political party. I am here to support the administration of Asiwaju to realize the dreams of the founding fathers. It doesn’t matter your political affiliation or religion, I am here to serve all.
“We cannot achieve anything without support from the councils. We are not struggling for power and so we have to collaborate. It is in your interest as council chairmen to work for the people and that you can do by collaborating with us. What affects you affects me and so I will not be anywhere and allow area councils to be shortchanged.
“I will want to advise that we manage what we have but we will work to ensure that what you are supposed to get, that you will get it and nobody will shortchange you, ” Wike said.
He admitted that insecurity is a major problem across the states, pleading with residents at the area councils to work hard and provide all the necessary information to the security agencies.

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