John Adams, Minna
A fourteen year old boy has been shot dead in Tunga area of Minna, the Niger state capital by unknown gunmen in the early hours of Sunday.
The boy simply identified as Ayuba was shot at an illegal mining site behind M.I. Wushishi housing estate in Tunga at about 4:00am in the morning. Several others sustained various gun shot injuries and are currently treated at private hospitals in Minna.
A source close to the area told our correspondent that the deceased was among the over 50 boys, ages between 12 to 20 who stormed the illegal Mining site in the early hour of Sunday for their usual illegal activities.
Although the identity of the gunmen was not known as at the time of filing this report, sources close to the area said the boy may have been shot either by vigilantes or the locals.
Local farmers in the area, it was gathered, have consistently raised alarm over the destruction caused to their farms due to the activities of these illegal miners.
However, due to complains and resistance from the local farmers, the these group of miners resulted to be carrying out their activities between 3:00am and 6:00am to avoid any form of resistance from the farmers.
It was gathered that illegal mining activities have assumed an alarming rate in suburbs of Minna, the state capital and other parts of the state in recent time, defying every solution towards putting a stop to it.
The activities of these illegal miners have led to destruction of farms and pursing a great threat to erosion in the affected areas.
When contacted, the Police Public Relation Officer of the state Command, ASP, Wasiu Abiodun could not confirm the incident, saying that he was yet to get the details of incident but promised to get back to our correspondent.