The Minister of mines and steel development, Olamilekan Adegbite has raised an alarm of some influential people mounting pressure on the federal government to free Chinese nationals who were paraded days ago following their arrest for illegal mining of gold in Osun state.
The Minister who addressed newsmen in Abuja, said the Coronavirus pandemic is responsible for the surge in illegal gold mining activities in the country. He also accused some soldiers of aiding illegal mining.
“Nigerians in high positions of authority [are behind them]. The Chinese are the main culprits in the illegal mining activities and we are going to meet with the Chinese embassy. We are going to present all the facts to them so that it will not appear as if we are targeting them unfairly.
“These godfathers were operating with impunity before, but they are now scared because the arrested illegal miners are naming names but they (godfathers) are denying. The law is on our side and we must prosecute these people to serve as a deterrent.”