BAUCHI, Nigeria – Two staff of the Bauchi State Ministry of Housing and Environment on Saturday reportedly escaped being lynched by some charcoal producers in Zaranda village of Toro Local Government Area of the state during an inspection visit by a team of Mobile Court on Environmental Abuse set up by the ministry.
The officials were said to have sustained injuries during the attack on them along with eight others.
The Chairman of the Mobile Court, Magistrate Laraba Hamisu, who was among those attacked, was threatened and called all sorts of names by the angry attackers, Daily Post reports.
According to a source, the team’s assignment was forcefully terminated following several threats by the attackers, who later smashed the windscreens of the team’s vehicles.
The Commissioner of Housing and Environment, Hamisu Shira, while reacting to the development, condemned the action and warned that the government would never be intimidated by the action of those who carried out “the nefarious act.”
He said immediately after the incident, the ministry had taken measures to forestall further occurrence.
He warned that perpetrators of illegal tree felling for charcoal making will be apprehended and face the wrath of the law.
Shira said that his ministry had requested the support of security agencies to ensure the successful conduct of its assignment in all parts of the state.
According to him, security agents have launched a manhunt for those who carried out the attack, stressing that all hands should be on the deck to check the abuse of the environment by some “self-centered people”.
The Commissioner called on traditional, religious and community leaders to join hands with the current administration to save the future of the environment by encouraging tree planting and discouraging the felling of trees.