Nigeria has repatriated some foreign nationals for their involvement in illegal mining in Zamfara state.
Governor Bello Matawalle disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
“I discussed the issue of illegal mining in my state with the President and he directed the office of the National Security Adviser to form a task force on illegal mining, which can go round the states to fish out these illegal miners.
“Most of them are not Nigerians but with the support of the Army, Police and other security agencies in the state, some of these people were apprehended and repatriated back to their countries. 11 Chinese were repatriated and over 20 from Burkina Faso and Mali and its because we have a porous border particularly between Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina with Niger Republic which people always use to come in but measures are being taken by the Nigerian Immigration Service.
“I know they now use drones in some of these areas and I have a lot of confidence that will help check such infiltrations and henceforth we may not have such foreign nationals coming into our country through the back door,” he said.
The governor called on the federal government to act fast on taking measures that would check the activities of illegal miners so as to harness the untapped mineral resources that states have, so as to benefit both the central and state governments.
On security, the government confirmed the killing of over 20 persons in Talata Mafara local government of the state by bandits.
He called on the president to intervene in order to address the menace of bandits and strengthen security in all parts of the state.
“After the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), we had some challenges in Zamfara and particularly on Wednesday, about 20 people were killed in Talata Mafara local government and what I solicited from the President was to see how we can be able to have more security personnel that will secure the territory of the state,” he said.