The influx of business moguls and top politicians in the ruling government in illegal small scale mining business, also known as galamsey, is impeding the fight against the canker, says Dr Toni Aubynn, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission.
Speaking to Prince Minkah on XYZ Tonight on TV XYZ Wednesday night, Dr Aubynn said the devastating consequences of the illegal mining keeps deepening by the day and affecting Ghanaians in some parts of the country, the fact that powerful people in the country keep showing interest in the plowing of land for gold, fighting the canker will be extremely difficult.
He said some “powerful people who have invested heavily” to acquire concession personally or through proxy and are cashing in on the menace hence the government’s inability to clamp down on galamsey.
He would not mention any name but said, “The truth is that there are powerful people [investing in galamsey] …people who are in business, people who are in politics” engaging in illegal mining adding that “the results are very heavy.”
“Its a national issue…Its a complex thing but it can be done,” he said and added that his outfit left handing over notes that has the blueprint of how to clamp down on galamsey and stressed the government can revisit it and implement some of the solutions.
His comments come 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.
Many have expressed doubts over the Akufo-Addo administration’s commitment to flush out illegal mining to save arable lands and water bodies.
Member of Parliament for the Ningo Prampram Constituency, Samuel George, is one of the people who do not trust Akufo-Addo to tackle the menace.
He said 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.