The Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) has observed that there is an unwillingness amongst authorities to clamp down on illegal mining.
According to Prof. Kwesi Aning, companies and their leadership and ownership engaging in galamsey are well known in the country however, the state has turned a blind eye to their actions.
Thus, allowing these ‘crook’ individuals to operate unconcerned about the detrimental effect the activity is having on the country and its people.
Prof Aning was reacting to JoyNews’ Hotline Documentary, Destruction for Gold on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Monday.
"There is the lacunae between the flowery rhetoric of representatives of the state of Ghana and their unwillingness and it is not about capacity, this is deliberate unwillingness to respond to this challenge.
"So we initiate inter-ministerial groups, multiple joint campaigns by statutory security forces and they don’t go anywhere and they will not go anywhere until we are bold enough to strip bare the individuals and crooks involved."
Government has been fighting illegal mining for many years, but despite efforts and massive investments, the situation seems to get worse almost every day.
Over the years, illegal mining has destroyed a majority of the country’s agricultural lands and contaminated many water bodies. As a result, there are already water shortages in various parts of the nation.
Considering the vast damage illegal mining has had on our water bodies and forest, a ban has been placed on mining in forest reserves.
Last year, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor revealed that his outfit will not issue licenses to any mining company to undertake exploitation in forest reserves.
However, checks by Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor show that some mining companies are still operating in the forest reserves.
His investigations uncovered that forest cover running over 12 football fields has already been destroyed by mining linked to Akonta Mining Limited owned by Bernard Antwi Boasiako popularly called Chairman Wontumi.
This among other findings convinced Prof Aning that there is a state within the Ghanaian state where some ‘powerful’ individuals driven by greed are causing havoc.
“A deep state is a group of individuals sometimes performing openly but more often than not clandestinely and using a narrative that seeks to cover their criminal engagements and how they collude and connive amongst themselves and with external interests to undermine the authority of the state.
"These groups of individuals located within the deep state are determined to defend the galamsey trade through fair and foul means.
"Foul means can be corruption, intimidation, atrocities against individuals, the use of guns. Fair means can be through collusion and connivance in which statutory institutions are unable and unwilling to work,” he said.
Henry Akplehe Kanor
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