Akufo-Addo's meeting with Ashanti Chiefs was 419 attempt to shift galamsey blame

Feature Article Akufo-Addo's meeting with Ashanti Chiefs was 419 attempt to shift galamsey blame
OCT 30, 2022 LISTEN

Not long ago, President Addo-Addo met with the MMDCEs and the Ashanti region House of Chiefs to discuss the problem of illegal mining. The meeting took place on the 5th of October 2022 at Manhyia in the Ashanti region. The leadership of the National Association of Local Authority of Ghana (NALAG) also intended to meet the heads of various local governments to outline measures to support the fight against illegal mining. Nana Addo called the meeting because he was convinced that some MMDCEs were actively involved in illegal mining in their jurisdictions. He warned these MMDCEs to stay away from galamsey. Many people described the president's statement as hypocritical because there are some ministers, MPs, and party functionaries involved in illegal mining but the president refused to talk about it. There were many who felt Chairman Wontumi should have been arrested for destroying water bodies through illegal mining at Samreboi.

According to the former Minerals Commission CEO, millions of dollars that were spent by Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP government to fight galamsey proved fiasco. This is the government's own doing. The blame can be placed squarely on the government and no one else. The NPP government has failed in the fight against galamsey so the residents of Obuasi are sceptical about government's renewed fight against galamsey. It is not surprising that Nana Addo has not repented. To put it bluntly, the pollution of the water bodies and the destruction of our forests and cash crops must be a major concern of Nana Addo, but instead he continues to shield government appointees who are recklessly engaged in the practice.

When the NPP wrestled power from the NDC in 2016, Nana Addo launched a fight against illegal mining and galamsey. Military personnel and other security forces were deployed to the areas where illegal mining was going on. They seized about 200 excavators and took them to a military camp in Accra where security was assured. One fine morning, Ghanaians woke up to realise that all the 200 excavators had vamoosed into thin air. They were all stolen from the security area. No investigations were conducted and no arrests made. An excavator is not like a match box that can be put in one's pocket. This sad event marked the beginning of the end of Nana Addo's ambition to fight galamsey. The security personnel decided to protect the illegal miners in exchange for money. Government appointees joined in within the full glare of Nana Addo. Meanwhile the environmental destruction and the severe pollution of water bodies, continued unabated.

It is not only Chairman Wontumi who is a party official engaged in illegal mining, but there are quite a number of party officials engaged in it. The former Member of Parliament for Tema East Constituency, Hon Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, fully aware of the key personalities of the NPP engaged in illegal mining, charged the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to equally penalize key members of the (NPP), who are involved in illegal mining. Mr Kwartei Glover strongly urged the Minister not to spare members of their party who are arrested for illegal mining. Will such key members of the ruling party ever be arrested or punished? Nana is fully aware of key members of the party destroying the environment and polluting water bodies. He never even made reference to Chairman Wontumi.

The deputy ranking member on the Mines and Energy committee of Parliament, Hon. John Jinapor also added his voice and affirmed that there is evidence that the destruction of the environment and the pollution of water bodies are caused by top officials of the NPP who are engaged in illegal mining. He has consistently called on the government seriousness, concern and commitment against illegal mining. Nana Addo visited Ashanti region and went ahead to witness at first hand the galamsey areas and saw how the environment and the water bodies have been destroyed after meeting the chiefs in the region. Hon Abu Gyinapor felt that if Nana Addo is genuinely eager to fight illegal mining, he should arrest and prosecute the bigwigs involved in the galamsey and illegal mining. As Ghana continues to deal with the canker of galamsey, to wit, illegal mining, Ghana is likely to import drinking water in the not too distant future. The National Defence Congress have also added their voices to the problem. They have appealed to President Nana Addo to arrest the party officials engaged in galamsey.

To help the NPP party to regain its popularity and to be able to break the eight, Nana Addo must show seriousness, strictness and impartiality as regards illegal mining. .He should concentrate on improving the environment, save the cocoa trees and improving the water bodies. Ghanaians are angry and frustrated about how the government of the NPP are managing the economy. The last straw that broke the camel's back was when Nana Addo was hooted at in Kumasi for neglecting the city's development. A region known to vote massively for NPP. The future of NPP is bleak indeed!

Columnist: Stephen Atta Owusu

Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads

Email: [email protected]