Monday, 10 January 2022

Two Soldiers, Seven Miners Die In Gun Battle Over Discovery Of ‘N70m Gold Nuggets’ In Katsina, Army Denies Report


Two soldiers of the Nigerian Army and seven illegal miners have died after clash over huge gold nuggets at Magama, a border village in Jibiya Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The clash occurred on Wednesday around 6pm after discovery of huge gold nuggets in one of the open-pit mines dug by the artisanal miners.

Numbering about 40, the illegal miners, who were also armed, paid the soldiers the sum of N500,000 per pit before they were allowed to start the mining.

“When the soldiers saw the huge nuggets the miners discovered, they insisted that it be shared equally with them,” an insider who survived the clash said.

“When the miners insisted that they will not part with the nuggets or pay more — apart from the N2.5million they paid for the five pits — the soldiers started shooting the air.

“The scared miners, 27 of whom had guns, also replied the fire, and then exchange of direct gunfire began. The soldiers lost two men, while miners lost seven men in the clash.

“The mining ring leaders were able to successfully ran away with the nuggets, valued in conservative estimate at N70million, in their vehicle.”

Source : Nigerian Daily

Meanwhile the Nigerian Army has denied the story 


Here is a rebuttal from the Army


DISCLAIMER: RE- SOLDIERS, MINERS DIE OVER SEVENTY MILLION NAIRA GOLD NUGGETS IN KATSINA


The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to an online publication by Daily Nigeria.com of 9th January  2022, alleging that 2 soldiers and 7 illegal miners were killed during a gun duel, arising from a disagreement over gold nuggets in Magama village in Jibia LGA of Katsina State. 

According to the publication, the incident occurred when the soldiers turned down an initially agreed offer of 500,000 naira per pit from the miners, but afterwards, turned around to demand  more money on discovering the large quantum of gold nuggets found by the illegal miners in one of the pits.


 The  Nigerian Army wishes to unequivocally state that this story is baseless, unfounded, untrue and a mere figment of the writer's imagination, aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the Nigerian Army, as no Nigerian soldier was killed, nor involved in any skirmish with illegal miners in Magama village on 5 January 2022.


 Contrary to the insinuations peddled by the online medium, Nigerian Army troops deployed in the North West are committed and engrossed in the fight against banditry and other criminalities bedeviling that region. They are not permitted to participate in any form of mining, whether legitimate or illegitimate.


 Aside orchestrating disrepute, Fake News as this, have the potential to dampen the morale of the fighting troops, erode their fighting will and undermine the entire operations. This is certainly not what the troops require at this critical time.

 

The general public are therefore urged to disregard the fake news as it is concocted to denigrate Nigerian Army troops, who are working tirelessly to ensure sanity  and peace return to the North west region. We assure the general public of the unrelenting commitment of our troops to decisively tackle the banditry menace in the North West.


ONYEMA NWACHUKWU 

Brigadier General 

Director Army Public Relations 

9 January 2022


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