Vice-Chair of the Small Scale Miners Association, Benjamin Annan, claims the government’s fight against illegal mining is just a pretence to protect its party members involved in galamsey.
According to him, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has gone back on his words of not allowing politics to interfere in the fight against the menace. “The President said that the interference of politics in the fight against galamsey is what led to the failure of Operation Vanguard but he is doing same now.”
Mr Annan believes ‘Operation Halt’ is still politically motivated as it seeks to eliminate licensed small scale miners and replace them with NPP party faithful engaged in galamsey. “We should not accuse the ordinary Ghanaian of being engaged in galamsey but it is members of NPP engaged in the menace and they are being protected by the party.”
Reacting to news of the NPP’s Women’s Organizer, Kate Gyamfua, also suffering at the hands of the ‘Operation Halt’ task force, which reportedly burnt some 16 excavators and bulldozers belonging to her Xtra-Gold Resources Corp, Benjamin Annan said, “When you grow you will understand this act. You will understand why her equipment was burnt.
“The party is fully aware of the wrong they have done and are just covering up those wrongs with Kate Gyamfua. They will eventually pay her for burning the equipment and damage caused her. It is propaganda and they are trying to confuse us into believing the NPP is doing a good job. They have actually destroyed her machines but all this is propaganda because we still have a lot of NPP bigwigs mining in the Atewa forest and other forest reserves.”
He made this allegation in an interview with Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show aired on e.TV Ghana and Happy98.9FM.
The government of Ghana led by the Minister for Land and Natural resources organized a two day National Consultative Dialogue On Small Scale Mining to solicit diverse views so as to develop appropriate policy options for the small scale mining sub-sector and promised to replicate the dialogues at the regional level before taking any drastic measures.
Few days after the dialogue, some 200 military personnel were deployed to areas where mining was causing harm to water bodies and started burning equipment of miners, both licensed and illegal.
Mr Annan noted that this action was not discussed at the two-day dialogue.
“We never heard of the deployment of the military to fight galamsey at the dialogues. We were supposed to have the regional dialogues and later meet and decide on the way forward. We are against galamsey and have even supported Operation Vanguard in the previous fight. Soldiers are now destroying equipment belonging to licensed miners and this is sad. The government is fighting small scale miners and not galamseyers now,” he reiterated.
Send us your articles for publication via whatsapp +233545900000