The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Mr Inusah Fuseini, is one of the most prodigious practitioners of the art of ventriloquism in the country.
Well, maybe his former boss, ex-President John Mahama, could give him a run for his money: HE used to speak from more sides of his mouth at the same time than Fuseini does. But it is only a matter of degree. Really.
Both men have had views to express about the single most stupid act of self-destruction that Ghana is inflicting upon itself – galamsey. Here is John Mahama speaking 2014 about what he had seen with his own eyes about the devastation caused by galamsey: “I came here [Kyebi] by air and if you see how the land is being destroyed, it saddens me.”.
But, having said that, he then attacked what he called "the brutal methods" being used by the Task Force his own Government had set up to combat galamsey. “After all, the [galamseyers or illegal miners] only want to earn a living”, he claimed.
Cue in Inusah Fuseini. In an interview conducted by the award-winning film-maker, Edem Srem, for his stunningly graphic exposure of galamsey in the film, Trading Water for Gold, https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=j6qaiPSbZsQ&t=16s
Mr Inusah was emphatic that the Ministry he then headed, the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, was working with other agencies of the state, to “bring an end” to galamsey because it was so “destructive”.
Cue in Inusah again: The Chinese had tried to bribe him with a scholarship for his daughter to influence him to allow Chinese nationals to continue to engage in galamsey in Ghana.
Yet, this same Inusah planted a listening device in his office at the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources and conveniently forgot to remove it when he was transferred from that Ministry. The enormity of that lapse – if mere lapse it was – was captured by the cry from the heart uttered by his replacement as Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources, Nii Osah Mills, who said he felt that his “security was compromised” that "...such a device was in my office throughout and I would spend time in the office, sometimes the whole day.....I feel naked!"
What was Inusah doing with the bugging device which was not discovered until months after the NPP had assumed office? In any country that is concerned about the security of its national business, Inusah would have been investigated for a possible breach of the secrecy laws of the nation. But Ghana being Ghana....he has been charged with nothing.
Well, he's been fuming at the NPP Government, despite its unconcern about his activities as Minister of listening devices. He has now had the audacity to criticise the NPP Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Mr Peter Amewu, for extending the ban on galamsey for another three months.
“It is mind-boggling that [the] government has extended the ban by another three months”, Inusah said. According to him, initially, it was a “laudable idea” for the Akufo-Addo government to place “a ban on illegal mining operations, considering how the environment and water bodies had been destroyed.” But, he stated, the extension of the ban was not “what had been agreed on.”
Agreed on? By whom with whom? By the NPP with the NDC? When was such a deal struck? By Peter Amewu with Inusah? Why would Amewu do that?
Are you puzzled? I told you about how ventriloquists work, didn't I? It's always difficult to get the precise meaning of these magicians, for they are always preoccupied with what Mouth One is saying to Mouth Two and worried in case Mouth Three is unable to maintain the integrity of the trickery they employ in their trade.
“I cannot fathom the decision of Akufo-Addo’s government….Is the government seeking to collapse small scale-mining businesses in the country”? Fuseini asked on Kumasi-based Abusua FM.
I am afraid Inusah Fuseini's attitude is pretty widespread within certain elements of the “business community” in Ghana. Mention money and everything else goes on the board. In one of Edem Srem's interviews, a woman actually compares the uses of gold with the importance of water! “So long as there is no work here and we have no money to pay for our children's education, the gold is more important to us than water," she said. Does such a person not deserve a whipping on the buttocks?
In the same film, however, another woman – of basically the same background and economic status-- says: “I used to boast [at Kyebi] that I was an 'Akyenkwaa a onom Birem' (an Akyem-born person who drinks the water of the [clean and pure] Birem River). But now, we drink mud passing for water Or if we have money, we buy sachet water.”
We have to be clear about this: it is because some people would not stop at anything to make money to provide for their selfish needs that Governments exist all over the world to make laws that prevent the greed of bad people from making life impossible for others.
People can make money from Stealing. From Fraud. From becoming highwaymen.
From selling prohibited goods. And from armed robbery. And plain-faced murder.
The money they obtain from such nefarious enterprises is sometimes used for good purposes. But does that mean that society is wrong to seek to punish such criminals harshly in order to deter others from carrying out such anti-social crimes? Does the fact that a contractor pay tithes to his church entitle him to take government money without doing the work contracted for\|or to inflate the cost of contracts?
The atavistic turn of mind, which makes people equate the source of life on Planet earth – water – with gold, must be attacked root and branch before it destroys Ghana totally. The comparison is stupid, illiterate, deceptive and morally bankrupt at the same time.
Our Constitution-makers recognised this when they made it obligatory for every agreement concerning mineral concessions to be ratified by Parliament before it could be put into operation. That was to safeguard the public welfare against the well-known gross neglect carried out in their operations by miners, big and small. Apparently, Inusah Fuseini does not agree with that provision of the Constitution. But instead of doing the right thing as a politician, i.e. trying to get an amendment to the Constitution passed that would remove the provision, he chose to ignore it by sleight of hand when he was Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources.
The dangerous thing is that the precedent of ignoring the Constitution's provisions, once set at the Ministry, was bound to affect the thinking of the Ministry as a body. Even the current Minister, Peter Amewu, seems to have been infected with the anti-constitutional praxis of the Ministry, for he sometimes conveys the idea that “small-scale mining” can be allowed without prior recourse to Parliament for RATIFICATION.
One Minister of the present Government once told me that the struggle against galamsey would be “more difficult” than the struggle for independence. His reason? The struggle for independence was against a foreign entity (Britain) whereas the struggle to save Ghana from galamsey is “a struggle by Ghanaians against Ghanaians THEMSELVES.”
Ghanaians who deeply will, of course, realise that it is sometimes necessary to inflict physical restraint on one's brother or sister; one's son or daughter; one's nephews and nieces and other persons related to one by very close blood ties, in order to prevent them from harming others and on occasion, even themselves.
That is a duty society places on all of us, and which, if we fail to carry out, redounds with evil upon the heads of our entire society as a whole.
So soldiers and policemen engaged in Operation Vanguard, please go full steam ahead. Three months or six months; five years or ten years: so long as there are people in this country with murderous minds, ready to destroy our water bodies that will sustain the lives of generations yet unborn, you must not relent in the slightest.
The survival of Ghana depends on you, our valiant men in uniform!
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