BAUCHI, Nigeria – The State Commissioner for Housing and Environment, Honourable Hamisu Mu’azu Shira, over the weekend, alleged that his life is being threatened by a charcoal syndicate after three truck loads of charcoal was seized from them.
OgeneAfrican had last Friday reported the seizure of the three trucks loaded with charcoal at Nabardo in Toro Local Government Area of the state, heading for Borno State.
The commissioner had disclosed that the seizure of the trucks and arrest of suspected culprits were made through collaborative efforts among the ministry, Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA) and the police.
However, while parading the nine suspects arrested in connection with the seizures, at the weekend at BASEPA office in Bauchi, Shira alleged that he has received threats to his life over the development, adding that he has since reported the threats to the authorities.
“Last night, I received a call from a friend who alerted me about the movement of charcoal from his local government area. As you know, Section 5 (1) of the law banning felling of trees and burning of trees for charcoal and other uses prohibits such acts.
“So, I called the commissioner of police who sent some of his men with us for the arrest of the culprits.
“The magistrate is ready and waiting to serve justice. And let me say that in addition to seizing the goods and arresting culprits, the vehicles conveying the charcoal will also be seized.
“Because of this, I have received threats to my life and I have reported to the authorities,” the commissioner alleged.
He stated that the syndicate exported charcoal from felled trees for the production of shisha, a product he said was being commonly smoked by youths.
According to the commissioner, the vehicles impounded were actually headed for Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
He said he would suggest the forfeiture of any vehicle impounded to the State Executive for necessary action.
Shira, however, appealed to the public to report any felling of trees and movement of charcoal for immediate action, assuring that reward awaits members of the public with such information.