The Administrative Head of Koidu Holdings (KH) S.A. Mr Sadiq Silla Wednesday explained to visiting journalists how illegal miners claiming to have the backing of the APC led government have moved in to their concession and have been mining there ever since.
Pointing out the illegal activity from the secured confines of their compound Sadiq explained that “immediately after the elections we saw people there and they came and they said they are now the government of the day and they are not going to listen to any authority or anything as far as they are concerned Kono is their land they are going to mine.”
Sadiq said “we made a formal complaint to the Mining Engineer, we made a formal complaint to the Secretary General of the ruling party and we’ve made a formal complaint to the LUC (police – Local Unit Commander)”
The KH Administrator explained further that “the Permanent Secretary of Mines and the Director of Mines were here with other interested parties we went to the place and the people even misbehaved right in the presence of the Permanent Secretary and the Director.”
Sadiq lamented that “ever since two months now they are just mining and nobody could stop them and they don’t listen to anybody”
He explained further that “at a point in time we were approached by a task force they said it’s a task force for mining operations in Kono for the ruling party and they also came and they went there and nothing happened.”
“nobody could stop the people they said they’ve got the backing of the government of the day and they even threaten that they would burn down our machines” he said
He pointed out “you see now we are back filling the waste from pipe one to that place they always threaten us that’s a distance less than 20 metres from where we are back filling and there’s another one here which is less than ten metres right down here right into our concession.”
Questioned about the identity of the miners he said the smaller one “is being done by Janet the wife of Mohamed Fofanah “Fecus” and the bigger one there they say is being done by Sahr Bonzo who is the APC Youth Chairman Kono District” adding “we’ve spoken to them and they could not stop.”
On Friday the miners has started stoning the caterpillar and lorries dumping waste soil close to where they were mining. A call was placed to the LUC but no police was sent to the place from Wednesday when the stoning started up to Thursday.
Efforts to get the local Unit Commander Chief superintendent Joseph B. Kabia to comment on the issue proved futile as both phone numbers 076-601-892 and 077-607-363 were constantly turned off.