The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced a total ban on mining activities in Zamfara State and its environs.
The decision is part of fresh measures to restore peace to the state bedevilled by banditry.
Hundreds of people have been killed or kidnapped by the bandits in Zamfara in the past year.
There have been suspicions that the criminality is a fallout of the artisanal mining of gold and lead in the state.
The new measure banning mining was announced by the Inspector General of the Police, Mohammed Adamu, while briefing State House correspondents on Sunday in Abuja.
Mr Adamu said the government took the decision because it found out there was a relationship between the bandits and illegal miners.
Mr Adamu also announced that “all foreigners within mining sites are to leave immediately.”
He said all the sites will be taken over by a special task force comprising of relevant security agencies.
The briefing was also attended by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; the Director General of the State Security Services, Yusuf Bichi; and the Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai.
The decision also comes a day after dozens of people led by a prominent journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, marched in Abuja to protest the violence in Zamfara.
Nigeria Coronavirus Cases Hit 81 As NCDC Announces 11 New Cases
Nigeria has recorded 11 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 81.
The Nigeria Disease Control Centre made this known late on Thursday.
It said eight new cases were recorded in Lagos State, two in Enugu and one in Edo.
Just In: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tests Positive for Coronavirus
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, the government has said.
Mr Johnson has mild symptoms and will self-isolate in Downing Street, after being tested at No 10 by NHS staff.
“He was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty,” a statement said.
He will still be in charge of the government’s handling of the crisis, the statement added.
In a tweet, Mr Johnson said: “Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus. I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.
Six Coronavirus Patients to be Discharged in Lagos
The Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr Tunde Ajayi, has disclosed that six of the patients at the Infectious Disease Hospital have recovered.
Ajayi via his twitter handle, @thetundeajai, said the patients would be discharged soon.
“Six of our #COVID19 inpatients have recovered and will be discharged soon. There is something Lagos is doing right. Lagos takes the lead,” he wrote.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, 51 cases were confirmed in the country as of 11:25 pm on March 25.
“Out of the 51 confirmed cases, two have been discharged, while one death has been recorded. Lagos has 32 confirmed cases,” the NCDC wrote on its website.
Also, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, at a briefing on Wednesday said the state was tracing over 2,000 contacts.