Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister, George Mireku Duker

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of mining, George Mireku Duker has parried allegations of his involvement in the destructive form of mining, 'galamsey'.

The Minister, who is also the representative of the people of Tarkwa-Nsuaem in Ghana’s Parliament, has revealed he is only suffering the fate of finger-pointing because the Constituency is a lead gold-producing area; the majority of his people are involved in mining, including illegal mining.

“Let me first of all clear this – Mireku Duker has never mined, and I don’t own a single concession. I represent miners in the Parliament of Ghana. In my Constituency, almost all of them have either direct or indirect association with mining. And therefore, any issue with mining, obviously, they will contact or mention Mireku Duker whenever they have been arrested or when any negativity as far as mining is concerned,” he said in an interview with JoyNews’ Samuel Kojo Brace.

According to him, the Constituency has been one which has seen more security invasion to clamp down on illegal mining since the fight against 'galamsey' started because of its position as a lead producer of gold in Ghana.

He said he has not favoured them because he is their MP, but has ensured that illegal mining is dealt with squarely, irrespective.

“Even if you look at the fight against galamsey itself, the area where we have consistently used the Police and military more on miners is Tarkwa-Nsuaem. And don’t forget that it is the heart of gold, because about 50% of gold production in Ghana is coming from that area,” he said.

Dompim Assembly member arrested

George Mireku Duker revealed that he has ensured that his own hometown, Dompim-Pepesa, has seen massive operations of the security forces at the heart of the fight against galamsey. He added that even the Assembly Member for the area was arrested during one of those raids.

“Just recently, a team from Accra, numbering 100, were detailed to Dompim and made several arrests – even the Assembly Member of the area was arrested and is in Police custody as I speak with you. And you know the behavior of 'galamseyers'; you will arrest them, and some will come back. I am not there (Tarkwa-Nsuaem), but there are other opinion leaders there, who must also help in making sure that illegal mining has been dealt with,” he revealed.

People with interest

The Deputy Minister revealed that what is happening (accusations against him) are the works of his detractors who are interested in getting him to lose focus on his efforts towards the government’s fight against 'galamsey' so they can continue perpetrating the illegality they are engaged in.

“Obviously, you will have people who would want to, in a way, just push you to derail from what you’re doing. They know that you’re clamping down on these illegal miners - making sure that our river bodies are clean, making sure that people mine and mine responsibly; and making sure that we put measures in place to regularize the mining sector. This is something that is catching the eyes of Ghanaians, and as a politician, your detractors will be issuing unnecessary statements and making comments that are uncalled for.

“Like the self-styled chief who spoke to Joy. He only wants to discredit Mireku Duker. He started this long ago in 2019/2020, when he led the campaign of the independent candidate to campaign against me. So no wonder he’s continuing on that tangent,” he said.

I am determined

George Mireku Duker explained that he sees the responsibility entrusted to him by his Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor to lead the fight against 'galamsey' as an opportunity he is not ready to waste, adding that what his detractors are doing will not stop him from going all out to ensure the fight is won.

“I’m not going to lose focus to clamp down on illegal miners who are so determined to destroy our country. We can’t allow these nation wreckers to just put up statements just to confuse everybody. Now, they just want to demoralize those of us who are working hard to sanitise the sector.

“When you’re doing the right thing, people will come after you, including intra and other related political innuendos that we have in the system, but God is on our side, so we will triumph,” he stated.

If I’m involved in 'galamsey', prove it

Mr. George Mireku Duker revealed that 'galamsey' is not done in secret, so anybody with evidence of his involvement in 'galamsey' activities must come out with the evidence, instead of the rumor-mongering.  

“Galamsey is not done in a chamber. It is done in the open. If Mireku Duker has a concession, be on the concession and show it to the people. Don’t just say he mines, and all that. As for that, everybody can do it. If Mireku Duker is the Deputy Minister and illegal mining has happened in his hometown, you want to blame him for it. Go to other areas where people of high repute are from, and see the illegal mining that is happening there. Can we blame those people for what is happening?” he stated.  

He mentioned that the peddling of falsehood is something that favors 'galamseyers' because they know the real culprits will never be caught when fingers are pointed at leaders.

He called on Ghanaians to help the government to fight against the illegal mining menace.

“You see, the 'galamseyers' do flourish in these things because they know that the fingers will be pointed at leaders. So they get a field day to operate. If we don’t stop that, we will not be able to win this fight. We need to stop that else, we can’t win this fight. Let’s not do this to ourselves; if you’re accusing someone, you need to have evidence to back your claims,” Mireku Duker stated.

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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.

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