Galamsey activities at Amponyasi in the Amansie West in Ashanti

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says President Akufo-Addo has failed completely in the fight against one of the country’s biggest problems in the mining sector.

Former President John Mahama said the President before assuming office, had expressed so much zeal towards ending illegal mining aka ‘galamsey’, however, after winning power little has been done towards that.

“The President once stated that he was prepared to put his presidency on the line to fight the canker, but now it is evident that he has failed in the fight,” he said.

Mr Mahama was speaking at the NDC’s townhall meeting in the Ashanti Region.

He accused President Akufo-Addo of seizing mining equipment [including excavators] of illegal miners under the pretext of fighting galamsey.

According to him, the President’s main aim for the action is to hand them over to NPP stalwarts to continue with illegal mining in the country which is unfair.

“The President has seized the concession of some miners saying that he is going to do community mining with them but the concessions have ended up in the hands of members of his party who are engaging in galamsey.

“He is [trying to tell us that] members of his party can engage in the illegal act, but other Ghanaians cannot,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo, before assuming office in 2017, promised to end galamsey in the country.

He introduced Operation Vanguard [a taskforce set up by government to combat galamsey in the country], as well as the Community Mining Program which is to ensure safe and responsible mining in the country.

These were part of measures to combat illegal mining in the country.

In his 2020 State Of the Nation’s Address to Parliament, the President lauded his government for achievements in the fight, though he admitted that there are still some challenges that need to be addressed.

However, Mr Mahama said the NPP government under the leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo has performed abysmally.

He assured miners that his next government will establish a Gold Development Board that will be responsible for safe mining in the country.

He further assured miners whose equipment have been seized of securing them and handing them over to their respective owners.