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Fight against galamsey: Mahama urges President Akufo-Addo to demonstrate political will

BY: Dickson Worlanyo Dotse
Former President John Mahama
Former President John Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has challenged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to demonstrate the political will to fight illegal gold mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.

That, he said, was because some of his appointees were complicit in the illicit activity.

“If you go to the districts, they talk about community mining but the NPP executives and the District Chief Executives (DCEs) are the ones doing the community mining.

“How can you expect him to fight ‘galamsey’ when his own people are involved in it?” he said.

The former President made the statement in an interview on TV3 last monday.

His own people

According to Mr Mahama, the President’s own loyalists and party members had been found to be engaging in the activity because the party’s executives had had concessions to illegally mine gold in forest reserves.

“It is close to home and that’s why he can’t deal with it,” he emphasised.

The former President, therefore, said the President had failed in his fight against illegal mining because the government was aware of who the perpetrators of the activities were but had failed to take action.

“They all know who is doing it. The Changfang machines are there, it’s not something that you can put in a handbag so how come you can’t find the machines that are washing all that mud into our river bodies,” he explained.

Territorial integrity

Touching on the issue of Aisha Huang, Mr Mahama said the country’s territorial integrity was at stake if foreigners were allowed to penetrate without check.

“Anybody who is engaged in illegality must be sanctioned. Ghanaians who are engaged in illegal mining are languishing in prisons, they have been sentenced and jailed,” he added.

Mr Mahama, therefore, said Ghanaians would feel cheated if the woman who had been accused of illegal mining was let go without prosecution.

“If you’re a Ghanaian and you are engaged in an illegality in China, you’ll face the full rigours of the law and I do not doubt that there are some of our citizens in jail in China,” he added.

He also used the opportunity to address claims that he received an ex gratia of GH¢ 14 million in 2014

“The only payment that was made to me by the government was my salary arrears of GH¢ 230,000 in 2013,” Mr Mahama explained.