Galamsey will minimize if you crack whip on your own people – Suhiyini to Akufo-Addo

Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale North, Mr Alhassan Sayibu Suhiyini, has admonished President Nana Akufo-Addo to stop his party big wigs from engaging in illegal mining (galamsey) to save the country’s lands and water bodies.

He said the menace, which has destroyed almost all the water bodies of the country, heightened when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) came to power because the agencies that were responsible for clamping down on galamsey activities became compromised.

The Operation Vanguard and the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining established by the government under Akufo-Addo’s first term to clamp down on illegal small scale mining that was causing havoc to the country’s water resources and lands failed to minimize the activities of illegal miners.

This, Suhiyini, related to the influx of some NPP big wigs into the mining sector and took over the illegal mining business.

“Clearly his [Akufo-Addo’s] approach did not yield the results that we were expecting… It a became a scheme for creating and looting for their political party,” Suhiyini told Dwaboase host Kwame Minkah Thursday morning.

Consultative Dialogue

His comment comes on the back of a two-day bi-partisan Consultative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining, in Accra yesterday at the Accra International Conference Centre on the theme  “Sustainable Small-Scale Mining for National Development.”

President Akufo-Addo who was the guest speaker called on participants to discuss illegal small-scale mining devoid of partisan politics, narrow and parochial interests.

“We should be able to build a broad-based national consensus around the necessity to stamp out the menace of illegal small-scale mining, and the need to support and grow responsible small-scale mining,” President Akufo-Addo appealed to stakeholders.

He said “Mining can create jobs; mining can improve livelihoods; and mining can generate wealth. But it cannot, and must not do so at the expense of damaging the very environment that produces the riches.

Akufo-Addo also stressed “Ghana is not only made up of the people, but the soil, water bodies, valleys, mountains, forests, plants and animal life, without them, we will not survive, and requires our collective determination to protect them.”

But Mr Suhiyini who is the Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Lands and Forestry Committee urged the government to be candid as well and call their own people engaging in illegal small scale mining to order as President Akufo-Addo calls for a national consensus on tackling the menace.

Suhiyini said CSOs had revealed there were NPP big wigs who were deep in the menace and the president can not pretend not to know about their activities as the government looks for drastic measures to stem the tide of galamsey in the country.

“Everybody knows he [Akufo-Addo] is not committed to the fight against corruption especially when it’s involving his party people,” he said and pointed to the investigations by Anas Aremeyaw Anas that indicted the secretary of the the Inter-ministerial Committee, Charles Cromwell Bissue.

He said it was the reason the NPP lost parliamentary seats in the mining areas to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC ), adding “It is not the fight that made the NPP lose the seats.”

“The fight against galamsey was hugely affected by the corrupt practices of the people who were involved in it,” he added.

However, he was optimistic the government had called for a diologue over the menace which are producing cogent proposals that could tackle galamsey.

“I am happy they have come to realize that they are not the know-it-all in this country,” he stated and assured they will monitor the implementation of the recommendations proposed.”

“We’ll make sure the implementation is not done haphazardly or with half-hearted commitment,” Suhiyini concluded.


By Henryson Okrah|

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