Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, revealed that he has been getting messages that threaten his life after he spoke about the link between banditry and illegal mining in Nigeria.
Alake made this known on Monday when he visited the site of the explosion in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.
It was reported last Tuesday that an explosion happened at the Adeyi Avenue, Bodija, Ibadan.
The explosion led to the loss of five lives, 77 Injured, and damaged 58 houses.
According to the minister, since he exposed the role of high-profile and well-connected Nigerians in illegal mining at the National Assembly, he’s been receiving life-threatening messages.
In his words, “If you follow my budget defence at the House of Representatives or Senate, I did say categorically to the whole world that powerful Nigerians are behind the banditry associated with illegal miners in this country.
”I said it openly, of course, I received threats, but we are undaunted because these things have to be said, and in any case, I wasn’t saying anything new, most people knew it.
“Many people have been saying it, I only gave it an official stamp, based on intelligence reports. So, there is a lot of connivance along and among the strata of the society both high, medium and low. It is not an exclusive preserve of just a high hut.
“It cuts across the strata of the society. So, this is a societal problem, and I did say at that meeting at the budgetary defence that we were employing both kinetic and non-kinetic strategies and tactics to combine all of these.
“The details I won’t be able to reveal publicly now because that will also be un-strategic.”
He added that the Federal Government was collaborating with all the key stakeholders at the state, local government and host communities levels to stop the illegal mining activities.
He explained that the host communities had to be part of the solution because they and the local people who knew the terrain well would be involved in any security strategy that the committee devised.
Alake revealed that one of the hidden facts was that the bandits who were backed by some influential Nigerians had access to money and weapons.