The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has described government’s fight against galamsey as ‘deceit’ and ‘public gimmicks’.
According to Sulemana Braimah, government is engaged in a passive fight, instead of dealing with the actual cause of the menace.
Speaking on Joy News’ AM Show on Monday, he explained that many high-profiled personalities in government are complicit, but have not been brought to book.
In his view, the failure of government to deal with the actual culprits is evidence of government’s insincerity in addressing illegal mining in Ghana.
“Party people are in it. At some point, we were told party ‘hia sika’ to wit ‘the party needs money’. Party leaders are involved, and across the districts, they’ll tell you look, if you’re not connected to the party there’s no way you’ll be allowed into any place.
Sometimes legitimate mining will even be difficult for you. So I really think that the President may not be serious about the fight against galamsey”, Mr Braimah lamented.
He continued, “Aisha Huang has happened. Rivers are turning brown and forest reserves are being destroyed. And no single person has been fired by the President … You can’t understand. So how do we take the President seriously on this fight?”.
“I don’t think that there’s that serious commitment towards the fight. All we’re seeing is just gimmick and public deceit”, he told host Benjamin Akakpo.
The comments by the MFWA boss come on the back of a recent directive by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, which asked Akonta Mining Limited to stop operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest.
In a statement issued on September 30, the Ministry said it has taken note of “publications about certain operations by Akonta Mining Limited in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Amenfi West Municipality in the Western Region”.
Akonta Mining Limited is an asset of the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, popularly known as ‘Chairman Wontumi’.
But according to the Ministry, even though Akonta Mining Limited has a mining lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, outside the Forest Reserve, “the company has no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve”.
Commenting on this development, Mr Braiamah indicated that the directive is the least the government can do; adding that the government know the actual culprits and that it is only engaging in a superficial fight.
Meanwhile, the conversation about illegal mining continues to gain prominence from the recent arrest and ongoing trial of galamsey kingpin, Aisha Huang.
The Chinese lady was arrested on September 5, and is currently facing trial for mining minerals without a license among other charges.
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