The House of Assembly of Kogi State has given the Association of Miners a week to end the infighting that has been plaguing its Ankpa and other affiliate unions in the state.
In response to testimony from the Kogi State Chairman of the Association of Miners, Oruma Yunusa, and other key stakeholders regarding allegations of weapons stockpiling by Chinese nationals at a mining site in the Kogi State community of Agumagu, the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Petitions, Hon. Paul Enema, issued an ultimatum.
According to Enema, the ultimatum will force the warring factions to put aside their differences and work together for the betterment of Kogi State.
The legislator, who is the current Deputy Speaker and a member of the Dekina/Okura State Constituency, expressed his dismay and concern at reports that a small but vocal minority in Kogi State was amassing weapons with which to cause unrest.
He said the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello would not tolerate this and that the House of Representatives would conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations.
The legislator warned that no Kogi State resident should try to enforce the law on their own, and he urged the combatants to put down their weapons in favor of peace for the sake of the state.
The petition claimed that Ankpa Local Government’s coal industry had been storing weapons and ammunition. For this reason, we consulted the Local Government Chairman, who afterwards assured us there was nothing to worry about.
“The companies they are accusing came here to testify that they had nothing to do with arms and ammunition, and their Chinese partner that the petitioner is also accusing, from our preliminary investigation, the house gathered that they are a reputable international company,” the spokesman said.
The House is waiting for the Chairman of the Kogi State Association of Miners to return in a week to report on the progress he has made in getting his own house in order, as he has requested.
The Executive Chairman suggested that we contact the Area Commander and Chief of Agumagu in Ankpa Local Government to find out if there was indeed such a position. We’re waiting on the Chairman’s report to the full committee. At the end of the day, we will find a solution before taking any drastic measures.
Representative for the state’s Ankpa I constituency, Hon. Lawal Akus, agreed that the claims of stockpiling weapons were serious and should not be treated lightly.
We’ve given the parties plenty of time to meet and talk in an effort to find a solution to the problem. Before we take any more action, we believe it is the obligation of parliamentarians to investigate the claims that were made and come up with peaceful resolutions.
“Ankpa is a very serene and tranquil person. There is actually no tension, contrary to popular belief. According to what we learned today, Chinese miners in Ankpa are denying locals access to commerce.
With an eye toward ending the issue, we believe it is something that the union people can address with the Chinese people.
“If they can’t resolve it among themselves, the house will wade in through the State apparatus and set whatever condition that we think will be beneficial to the people of Ankpa Local Government and the State at large,” he said.
A group calling themselves Concerned Citizens of Kogi had previously petitioned the Kogi State House of Assembly about the dangers posed by mining operations in the Ankpa Local Government Area.