President Nana Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo has admitted that illegal mining in the country is back in full swing despite his government’s intervention.

He said inasmuch as government does not detest mining, it would not allow it to be done in a way that would jeopardise the country, although “our nation has always been a mining nation.”

Addressing the leadership and members of the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday, the President – who expressed worry about how illegal mining continues to pollute major water bodies and forest reserves – called on all and sundry to join hands in the fight against the menace.

“I’ve said it before; we are not against mining but we cannot accept mining in a manner that risk destroying our country. 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.

“Our nation has always been a mining nation. Indeed, in the 15th century when the first Europeans and Portuguese came to our shores, they called the first European-influenced town ‘Elmina’, meaning ‘the mine’ in Portuguese because, from their ships as they approached our shores, that is the activity they saw our people engaged in.

“It is not surprising that in the colonial times, we were called the Gold Coast. I ask all of you to join hands with me in the fight against illegal mining,” he appealed.

State of emergency

The president, however, did not touch on requests asking him to declare a state of emergency in all mining areas.

In his short national address, Mr Akufo-Addo rather reiterated that he did not mean to impress people when he swore to put his presidency on the line to fight ‘galamsey’.

Pressure group, OccupyGhana has asked President Akufo-Addo to immediately declare a state of emergency in all mining areas in the country.

To them, this will help the President and his government streamline mining activities in the country.

In a press release issued on Monday, October 3, it urged President Akufo-Addo to seek advice from the Council of State before publishing a Gazette on same.

“We, therefore, request that you take immediate steps towards declaring a state of emergency in every mining area in Ghana.

“In accordance with article 31(1) of the Constitution, these steps would be, first, seeking and obtaining the advice of the Council of State and, second, publishing a Proclamation of the declaration in the Gazette,” the group urged.

Government officials complicit

Meanwhile, the Convenor of the Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining, Dr Ken Ashigbey, has said the government’s failure to appropriately tackle the galamsey menace might be either because they are complicit in the illegality or they are incompetent.

According to him, the failure of government to decisively deal with key persons who have been identified as being active participators and facilitators of galamsey in the country is rather telling of the government’s lack of commitment to the galamsey fight.

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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.