Task force uncovers excavation of solid mineral in Plateau govt offices - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, July 7, 2023

Task force uncovers excavation of solid mineral in Plateau govt offices

The task force set up by the Plateau State governor, Caleb Mutfwang to recover the purported auctioned of government property has called on the contractor who excavated mineral resources and damaged offices at the premises of the Plateau Agricultural Development Programme, PADP to restore the property in line with the agreement signed.

The task force also called on those raising structures on the encroached lands at the green area near Yelwa Club as well as the Kara market to stop work. This as the leadership of the market fingers two former Commissioners in the State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Lands and Survey for directly supervising the sales of the encroached portion of the market.   

While on an on-the-spot assessment of the devastation done on some structures at PADP, David Zoyong, a member of the task force and, the sub-committee chair on government buildings, lands vehicles, and machinery lamented the level of destruction done.

He said, “It is appalling that when the government complains that there is no maintenance culture, people don’t understand the extent. We want you to see what has been done to government property. We have reports of why these were done, the holes were dug, gullies were created and the buildings collapsed.

“It is horrible, some of the structures are destroyed to the foundation. Preliminary investigations reveal an official protocol was involved, but we will get to the root to know what was removed here, who was involved in it, and why there was no restoration.”

The Secretary of the task force, Pam Davou added, “What we heard as we held meetings with the officials of the State Ministry of Agriculture, and the PADP, is that there was a mining activity here. There was an understanding that there would be a reclamation but you can see that these buildings are damaged. We heard that over 13 trailers worth of those resources were taken out.

“These are offices, whoever the contractor that is responsible for these is, we call on that contractor to honour the agreement that whatever was damaged is reclaimed. Without the government looking for him, he should do the needful.”

Also, the Programme Manager, PADP, Paul Davou stated, “I came here recently and met this thing on the ground. I can only tell you what is in the file that there was an official protocol, an MoU was signed to show that there would be restoration based on the site plan but so far, there are a few sites where the reclamation has been done while other parts are still hanging.

“They were looking for iron ore and columbite which they said is radioactive and needed to be evacuated from the premises because it is harmful to humans but there is no record in the file to show what was removed. The buildings affected are the fertilizer store, the cooperative store, the library, and some offices. The devastation is as much as you can see.”

At Kara market where there has been encroachment, Zoyong noted, “Kara market has been there over years, it was supposed to be an economically viable, money-spinning venture for the State but unfortunately the land was encroached, there are illegal structures raised by cronies of people we are yet to ascertained…”

The Vice Chairman of the market, Adam Nyoman stated, "We were here when the former Commissioner in the State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hosea Finangwai came. They started selling lands which are parts of the market. The market has existed for over 80 years before some of us were born.

“We were given this land for business but they penetrated, encroached on it, and sold some parts to individuals we don’t know. A former State Commissioner for Lands and Survey was with him, they were responsible for the sales but we were just looking because when we complained, they kept turning us from one place to the other.

“I appreciate this government for the intervention to reclaim the market, we will give you our maximum cooperation to ensure the needful is done. This market was supposed to be fenced for us because our animals are roaming into people’s farms and we complained to the former government. A company came here to partner with us but because of the encroachment, they couldn’t help us.

“This committee is a rescue committee, we are happy. This place was given to our forefathers by the government to do business and we pay them but the past government encroached on the land. If it means demolishing the structures on the encroached portion, we don’t mind because we don’t have a grazing area in the market again.”

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