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Environment Protection

Cross River: Criminal Miners Clash with Authorities

Illegal miners in Cross River State have engaged in a violent clash with soldiers and forest rangers tasked with enforcing conservation laws within the Cross River National Park (CRNP). The confrontation occurred in Ifumkpa community, Akamkpa LGA, one of the CRNP’s 105 communities severely affected by illegal gold mining activities. During the altercation, the miners overpowered the rangers, resulting in the damage of a rifle belonging to the enforcement team.

Confirming the incident, Mrs. Caroline Olory, the Conservator of Parks in CRNP, disclosed that the enforcement team, accompanied by Nigerian Army personnel, was conducting routine monitoring of the park, particularly targeting illegal mining sites. Despite facing challenges posed by the rugged terrains, Olory emphasized that the team managed to apprehend a number of suspects involved in illegal mining and resource plundering within the forest.

While addressing concerns about the severity of the attack, Olory clarified that although the miners damaged a rifle, the rangers were not entirely overwhelmed. She asserted the successful arrest of ten individuals implicated in illegal mining activities, affirming their intention to prosecute them accordingly. Moreover, Olory urged for increased support from all stakeholders to bolster efforts in safeguarding the CRNP, highlighting its significance as the last remaining tropical rainforest in Nigeria and one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots.

In a call to action, Olory stressed the importance of collective responsibility in preserving and sustaining the CRNP for future generations. Recognizing its recent designation as a Forests Biosphere Reserve and its status as a crucial ecological asset, she stressed the imperative of concerted efforts to ensure the long-term protection and conservation of this invaluable natural heritage.

IMAGE: Daiilytrust

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