Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Jinapor, has justified the burning of excavators by security personnel at illegal mining sites instead of confiscating them in accordance with the law on illegal mining.

Speaking at the Regional Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining, Samuel Jinapor said the use of excavators for mining at river banks was an “extraordinary problem which requires extraordinary measures to deal with.”

His comments were in response to concerns raised over the unconstitutional tactic being used by the anti-illegal mining security task force.

Among those raising concerns was pressure group, Occupy Ghana which called for government to desist from the illegality it is perpetuating through its current mode of tackling the illegal mining canker.

According to the group, there are clear laws stipulated in the 1992 Constitution, laying down sanctions for people engaged in the illegal act, thus, government should enforce those laws.

Occupy Ghana added that, if the government persists on that tangent, it might rather exacerbate the problems it is trying to solve.

Meanwhile, the Minister has pledged his and the Ministry’s “unwavering commitment to getting on with this national crusade without fear or favour.”

“Blind to partisan colouration, blind to status in society and with an absolute dedication steeped in the highest sense of integrity and with God on our side, we must and we will preserve our environment,” he stated.