Jema’a Local Government Area in Kaduna State is largely known for the wrong reasons following years of religious and ethnic crises that pit neighbor against neighbor, often with devastating effect.
However, there seems to be a change of tune as recently people have found a common factor that unites them. This is tin mining.
Late in 1980s mining activities were taking place in Gidan Waya, Godogodo, Antang, Nisama, Kafanchan, GwalKofa and Dangoma. This attracted dozens of Senegalese, Malians, Gambians in addition to the local residents.
However, these activities were virtually abandoned since the main actors, who were largely Europeans, left the place.
Arewa Trust Weekly visited Dajin ‘Yar Kurciya along Gidan Waya – Godogodo in Jema’a Local Government where tin mining is now in full force
“God has blessed this area with mineral resources. The European miners that worked here left the place many years ago after a long stay where they built their houses, Chairman, Tin Dealers Association, Mr. Danladi Joshua told Arewa Trust Weekly.
“We are now tracing the locations used by the foreign miners and left the site unfinished.’’
Yahaya Abubakar, a labourer, said they pay the landowners between N10,000 to 15,000 naira before they start digging and searching for the mineral. Another operator Yunusa Yakubu, said they sell a wire of a tin at N1,700.
“We usually worked in team of two, three or four people. We sell at least 20 wire of tin every day thus making at least N34,000, which we share among ourselves.”
He said they are preparing to register their organization and called on the government to assist them with machines and other equipment. But more importantly according to Yohanna Bitrus, a native of Godogodo chiefdom, the mining activities is bridging the differences among the tribes of the area especially those that have not been in good term with each other.
“We have recorded scores of deaths, loss of properties, cattle and farm crops from 2016 to 2018 around Ninte, Gada-Biyu, Godogodo and the surrounding villages in lingering farmers-herders crises with attacks and reprisal attacks that sacked some villages and halted farming in some areas.”
He said all this is coming to an end as people now unite around the mines helping each other to make money. Zakari Ya’u Gidan Waya, a dealer who also spoke with Arewa Trust Weekly said they are now living in peace with each other, courtesy of the mining.
“You can see how Fulani together with their friends from Ninzo, Numana, Kaninkon and other tribes are doing their work here peacefully. This activity is an umbrella that brings together people of different faiths and tribe across the area,” he said.
Lydia James, who used to sell food at the bush, said she is making a lot of money by selling foods to the customers.
“I was making between N2000 and N3000 daily when I was selling food in my house but now, I am making between N8,000 to N10,000 at the mining site every day,” she said “Different categories of people that include labourers, dealers, food vendors, are benefiting from the work and, I believe, would help diversify our economy.
The government would benefit more through revenue collection.” She, therefore, called on the government to support the miners with modern equipment to ease their work.