Senior Vice-President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil has stated emphatically that the battle against illegal mining in the country, popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’ is not one which can be won.
According to him, the complexity of political actors in the illegal activity has so far and will continue to thwart efforts to end the canker.
“We won’t win the fight against galamsey because the very people who are supposed to stop it have become the enablers. We are not serious about galamsey,” he told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Joy News’ Newsfile show, Saturday.
His comment follows allegations by the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, Professor Frimpong Boateng that 500 excavators which were seized between 2017 and 2018 were missing.
This has sparked debates in a lot of circles while recently, Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu has said some government appointees should have resigned over the reported disappearance of the seized excavators seized.
He described as “almost reckless” an attempt to paint a true picture of the consequences of the action citing Sierra Leone as a country where the rise in illegal mining sparked tension and violence.
“Too many of our leaders are involved in and are funded from galamsey money. Too many of the people involved in galamsey have too much power,” he said.
In 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo put his presidency on the line with a commitment to end the illegal small scale mining in the country.
Rallying Ghana’s traditional leaders together he said if there is one right thing to be done, that thing is for all to fight galamsey, reclaim the lands and leave for posterity a “green country” and a “clean space.”
He was addressing a forum against illegal mining organised chiefly to get Ghana’s chiefs involved in the fight against illegal mining.
Ghana’s future is in limbo with a huge chunk of its environment under-siege from boisterous young men and women who are digging every inch of space in mineral-rich areas of Ghana in search of gold, diamond etc.
But Mr Bentil believes even with the creation of a special military cum police force under Operation Vanguard to stop the menace, that dream is far from becoming a reality.
He explained that a lot of political parties receive their funding from the illegal activity hence none of them is willing to tackle the issue.
The IMANI Senior Vice President further reiterated his call for stricter sanctions to be put in place to punish District Chief Executives whose areas such activities are thriving.