Daily Trust (Abuja)

18 February 2013

Nigeria: Mining - Senator Wants Compensation for Plateau Villages

Senator Gyang Pwajok yesterday called for urgent steps to compensate Plateau communities whose lands and habitats were devastated by decades of mining explorations that sustained the colonial economy.

"The explorations were massive and without commensurate benefits for any of the host communities. The Federal Government must address these injustices to save such communities from further stress and torture," he said in Jos.

Pwajok, who represents Plateau North, said that monies from such exploration, carried out mainly in the north of Plateau, sustained Nigeria "right up to discovery of oil."

"The exploration has left thousands of ponds and death traps. The effects of radio-actives have also been massive on the population.

"The people are farmers, but their land has been dug up and degraded. They can no longer till the land. They have made a lot of sacrifices but no one appears to have taken note, much less listen to their plight. This is not right," he said.

Pwajok said that the explorations covered a land mass that was "more than the entire Abuja," and disclosed that the worst affected areas also included Bokkos in Plateau central. (NAN)

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