From Yakubu Mustapha Minna
Community leaders in Kurebe, Shiroro local government area of Niger State have refuted an online news report that alleged mining companies operating in the area usually pay bandits money for protection.
A community leader Haruna Salihu Kurebe and Shiroro local government APC secretary, Jamilu Abubakar gave the clarification while speaking to journalists in Minna.
The duo denied not to be aware of any negotiations entered by the mining companies operating in their area with bandits terrorising the community.
They stated the report was fake, malicious, injurious to their community and an attempt to discredit and blackmail the mining companies that have been providing interventions and relief to grief stricken indigenes in the area.
Haruna Salihu Kurebe said the companies, before operating in their area provided all the primary documents obtained from relevant authorities that permitted them to mine in the area.
He said the entire community and the traditional institution were aware of their presence and there has been mutual benefits especially in the areas of youth employment which has helped in engaging them in productive venture.
Similarly, the local council APC secretary and youth leader in the area also maintained that youths in the area have been helping the companies in the areas of security and maintaining social harmony.