Chinese Mining Firm, Min Xin Facing Undue Blackmail Of Funding Terrorists In Niger

By The Nigerian Voice

With the arrival of a new administration at the federal government level, new developments and intrigues appear to spring up from opportunistic quarters in the attempts to help sway and/or blackmail the incoming administration into undertaking actions that may not be taking in the interest of the country and its people but in the interest of blackmailers and dirty business operators.

This is as a recent “investigative” report by an online medium [WikkiTimes] titled “INVESTIGATION: Inside Secret Details of How Chinese-allied Miners Bribed Dogo Gide Terror Group to Access Mining Sites in Niger State” exhibited clear attempt at blackmailing the new democratically elected administrations through a muddled attempt at casting aspersions at the legitimacy of legal commercial activities of a foreign investor from China operating within the communities of Niger and Kaduna State.

The kernel of the 2294 word “investigative” report points to the singular claim that the foreign investor had paid and continues to pay protection monies to an alleged terrorist group in order to enable for a safe and secure operation in Kurebe and other surrounding villages in Shiroro local government area in Niger State. The claim was based solely on interviews with members community who have been discovered to be disgruntled former staffs of the China based company, Min Xin. The essence of the claim is that the Chinese firm is indirectly funding terrorism in Nigeria – a claim with weighty implications.

However cursory investigation conducted by through discussions with a consortium of sources within the affected communities confirm that Wikki Times merely conducted interviews with selected individuals who were “sponsored and possibly coerced” to speak “damnable and evil things” about Ming Xin, to the extent of linking the lawful activities of the company with terrorist. It failed to present hard and/or supporting evidence to show Min Xin’s involvement with aiding terror activities in the affected areas.

Interestingly, Ming Xin was attacked by the said terrorist recently resulting in the death of seven [7] officers from the Nigeria Civil Defense and six [6] staff members of Min Xin. One of the drivers at Min Xin was kidnapped and remains in the custody of the terrorist till date. The attack occurred on January 9, 2023 in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, a neighboring community to the mining site [Shiroro] inside Niger State. Min Xin was compelled to exit the mining site as a result of the attack.

One of the religious leaders who spoke to wondered how would they [Min Xin] have any link with the bandits and still be victims of attacks like this? The cleric pointed to mischief makers as the chief culprits to this evil allegation. “Our community is at peace with the mining company. We are happy with their operations. We are also aware of the activities of some hoodlums who want to extort the mining company – and have decided to use blackmail to achieve their aim.

Alhaji Haruna Kurebe and Alhaji Nasiru Kurebe who are notable leaders within the Kurebe community also shared their displeasure at the ill feted blackmail attempt. They expressed the community’s solidarity and support to the company. They indicated that the Chinese company had high reputation among the local people. “We don’t have any issues with this company. We don’t believe the farce that they are paying monies to terrorists. It’s a bad lie.”

Similarly, Umar Adamu – another leader within the community who has firsthand knowledge of the goings on within the minefields expressed shock that Ming Xin company could be linked to terrorism because the “only concern of Kurebe Community is for development to take place in the area”. He dismissed the allegation by the Wikki Times noting that Min Xin remains a reputable company that operates lawfully in the Kaduna/Niger communities.

Worthy of note is that the Wikki Times report failed to point to any illegality on the part of the commercial activities engaged by the Chinese firm. Instead, it selectively danced around the legal status of the Chinese firm including the licenses and certificates of operations issued by appropriate authorities of the Nigerian government.

According to Umar Adamu, “Ming Xin has been a reputable mining company authorized by law to operate under the existing regulations in section 10 of the NMMA, 2007- Rights of a mining lease holder in respect of site (ML45933) at Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger state. The permission was granted by the ministry of Mines and steel Development”.

Ming Xin has never been found wanting in the payment of its lawful dues. This can be attested by the Kaduna state Mining Development company in respect of its commitment fee of lithium Exploration License 30477EL in Chikum and Shiroro of Kaduna and Niger states”.

See document below:
The above documents and records provide evidence that Min Xin Mining company operates within the confines of the law of Nigeria. Ming Xin has a file in the Ministry of homeland security in Niger State, a file in the police, the DSS, civil defense with all their record of operation. Their operations are not hidden from the security architecture. Available document show the Chinese mining firm to have been in open and constant communication with Nigeria’s security agencies on the issue of combating insecurity and banditry in the affected areas.