President Akufo-Addo has reiterated his appeal to the Chiefs, Metropolitan, Municipal and Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the country to take up lead roles in the fight against illegal mining.

According to the President, the Chiefs, who are custodians of lands have an obligation to protect the lands entrusted in their care and that joining forces with the government to fight illegal mining is a duty they owed their communities and the country. 

Addressing the traditional authorities at the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, President Akufo-Addo maintained that the battle against illegal mining can only be won if there is a closer and effective collaboration between the government, traditional authorities and relevant stakeholders.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

He said since the inception of his government, there has been a strong commitment towards eradicating the galamsey menace but the efforts are being thwarted by the lack of collaboration from some chiefs and key institutions.

He expressed the openness of his government towards mining but clarified that mining must be done within the scope of the country’s laws as well as responsible and sustainable means.

For President Akufo-Addo, the battle to protect the country’s waterbodies requires an all hands on deck approach that must be devoid of politics and personal interest.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

He bemoaned the political colorization of the fight against ‘galamsey’ and admonished politicians to rise above such partisanship and selfish gains.

He contended that his government will remain resolute in its determination to ensure the sustainable use of the country’s rich mineral resources.

“We have tried many initiatives including the community mining scheme and the establishment of the new legal regime for dealing with the perpetrators of this phenomenon which has imposed severe sanctions on both Ghanaians and foreigners raging from a 15-25 years jail term of illegal mining activities,” he added.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

“The progress of our country depends on all of us; all citizens of Ghana; all fellow Ghanaians coming together to defeat this existential threat to our future,” he pleaded.

“No one seeks to exploit the fight against galamsey for political gains as we saw in the last election. The progress of our country depends on all of us, all citizens of Ghana, all fellow Ghanaians, pulling together to defeat this existential threat to our future,” the President noted.

“I ask all of you to join hands with me in the fight against illegal mining in order to bring to an end the devastation of our lands and the pollution of our water bodies.”

The President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II expressed worry that ‘galamsey’ activities are a threat to the survival of Ghanaians and that any action taken towards its curbing must be embraced by all.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

He observed that illegal mining activities have affected the cocoa industry as well as Ghana’s revenue generation and employment target and urged that persons found to be engaging in illegal mining activities be dealt with in accordance with the law.

He commended President Akufo-Addo for his personal devotion to the fight to protect resources meant for future generations and promised that the traditional authorities will offer their utmost support to the government.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

The President later met with MMDCEs and Regional Ministers in illegal mining endemic areas and charged them to work together actively and closely with government to reverse the phenomenon of Galamsey.

He added that there’s a political cost to the ‘galamsey’ fight but “a cost we should be prepared to pay in the interest of Ghana”.

Akufo-Addo calls on chiefs, MMDCEs to actively rally behind government to curb illegal mining

The President stressed that “you are my representative at the local level and it cannot be that government is fighting the menace and you are found complicit “ adding that “I am not in the position to protect anyone who is found in such an act, against who evidence has been established to be involved in the ‘galamsey’”.

Let us work together to restore our water bodies, landscape, forest reserve to enable us to break the 8”, he concluded.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.