Member of Parliament for the Ningo Prampram Constituency, Samuel George, says the governent of President Nana Akufo-Addo will not be able to tackle small scale illegal mining head on, alleging that the kingpins of the act are connected to top officials of the government.
Speaking on XYZ Tonight with Prince Minkah Monday night, the former presidential staffer during the Mahama administration described the promises of president Akufo-Addo to flush out illegal small scale miners from the country’s forest reserves as mere talk.
“Let’s call a spade a spade, look people who are the the kingpins 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,” he stated.
His comment comes on the back of a two-day bi-partisan Consultative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining, in Accra last week on the theme“Sustainable Small-Scale Mining for National Development.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo who was the key speaker at the event stated for the umpteenth time he would tackle the menace but not on the basis of hearsays.
“I am determined to enforce the laws on illegal mining no matter the subject, high or low. I will, however, not act on the basis of hearsay or mere allegations without more. I will not hesitate to act, though, where the evidence is hard before the Police, and I will do so irrespective of the standing of the person or persons involved,” Nana Akufo-Addo stated last wednesday.
But Sam George, who expressed shock over the president’s assertion, 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.
Galamsey in Flagstaff House
Sam George cited an undercover piece that captured the Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Charles Cromwell Bissue, on tape collecting bribe bribe from undercover journalists to get them access to mining permit was an indictement on the Akufo-Addo government.
“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.
He believes it is because of such issues that taskforces established by the government under Akufo-Addo’s first term to clamp down on illegal small scale mining has not been successful.
He told host Prince Minkah, “you have a government that is not interested in fighting the menace of illegal small scale mining” and stressed “So long as the president has failed to do prosecutions on the basis of these, it is evidence to you that the president is really not serious about fighting galamsey.”
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.