Member of Parliament for the Ningo Prampram Constituency, Mr Samuel Nartey George, has lashed out at the Akufo-Addo government for its inability to flush out illegal small miners from the country’s forest reserves.
The activities of these illegal miners, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, has destroyed almost all the water bodies of the country, causing water shortages in rural and urban areas in the Ashanti, Western, Western North, Eastern and Central Regions.
Realising the canker had heightened during their tenure of office, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, that looked on for the agencies responsible for clamping down on galamsey activities to be compromised, organised a national dialogue to discuss the impact of the menace.
The two-day bi-partisan Consultative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining, in Accra last week at the Accra International Conference Centre the themed “Sustainable Small-Scale Mining for National Development” saw President Nana Akufo-Addo state he would not fight illegal mining on hearsays.
However, reacting to the issues raised during the dialogue on XYZ Tonight, Mr George said the event was a “talk shop” that would not yield positive results, mainly because of the approach the government has adopted to control galamsey.
Galamsey Fight Low
He told host Prince Minkah, “you have a government that is not interested in fighting the menace of illegal small scale mining.”
He argued that when he heard the president say he was prepared to fight the canker but not on the basis of “hear say” he wondered whether the president was sleeping throughout the last four years of his governance when evidences were adduced against some of his appointees who were involved in some shady galamsey deals.
“Evidence was put before the president; evidence of his own party’s Western Regional Secretary [Charles Bissue] who was a presidential staffer taking bribes from an undercover journalist to give them permit to go in and do illegal mining,” Sam George stated and quizzed “what did he [Akufo-Addo] do with that?
He continued, “We’ve seen a recording done by a party executive of the NPP in the Central Region…Ekow Ewusi with the then Minister for Environment, Science and Innovation where they were talking about excavators and the need for them to go back into the pits and do mining. What did they say? Ekow Ewusi said the party needs money. What more evidence does the president need? have we seen the president prosecute any oftthese people?” he asked while contending the Akufo-Addo led administration was not committed to dealing with illegal mining in the country.
“So long as the president has failed to do prosecutions on the basis of these, itis evidence to you that the president is really not serious about fighting galamsey,” Sam George declared.
He said the evidences that the undercover journalists presented qualified as a prima facie case to get the officials prosecuted, but sadly they were left off the hook and, as such, President should not hold himself as being committed to tackle the galamsey menace.
“Let’s call a spade a spade, look people who are the the kinpins of illegal small scale mining in Ghana today are people associated with people sitting in the Flagstaff House [the seat of the president], people sitting in ministries in Ghana; people sitting at the NPP national and regional head offices. They are the ones behind this,” he added.