NPP replies Mahama’s comment on 'galamsey'

BY: Victor Kwawukume

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has expressed disdain at comments made by former President John Dramani Mahama and described it as a calculated ploy to retrogress the far-reaching successful attempts by the Akufo-Addo government to clamp down on the activities of illegal miners in the country.

The party described the statement by the ex-president as “most reprehensible, disgusting, repugnant and unbecoming of a statesman.”

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The NPP, also called on all well-meaning Ghanaians, particularly the Media Coalition Against illegal mining, to join the party in condemning, “with all vehemence, this unfortunate comment from John Mahama which seeks to erode all the gains that the nation had made in the fight against the galamsey menace on the altar of political expediency.”

Addressing a news conference at the party headquarters in Accra on Monday, the acting General Secretary of the NPP, Mr John Boadu said former President Mahama ought to be the last person to comment on issues of illegal mining since he had the rare opportunity to govern the country for eight years and did little to fight the menace of illegal mining which was destroying the very fabric of the Ghanaian society.

The NPP alluded to the fact that ex-president John Mahama and General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, last weekend made some unsavoury remarks against the government during the party’s Unity Walk in Kumasi.

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Mr Boadu said the former President was on record to have slammed President Akufo-Addo and his government for waging a war against illegal mining and its debilitating effects on lives and the environment particularly the water bodies and forest reserves.

Mr Boadu said the statement by the former President sought to incite illegal miners against the government, suggesting that “if he became president tomorrow, he would not clamp down on their activities and that, he would protect their interest.”

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Fortunately, the party posited that the country now had a president in Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who did not only ban illegal mining in order to salvage the country and save innocent lives, but had also come out with an elaborate policy document detailing how to permanently address the menace including the provision of alternative sources of livelihood for persons hitherto involved in illegal mining.

He said the government’s holistic approach to fighting the galamsey menace had not only received national applause from all well-meaning Ghanaians but had also been hailed by the international community.

The party also used the opportunity to commend Ghanaian boxer Isaac Dogbe on his latest victory which makes him Ghana's youngest ever boxing champion after knocking out Jessie Magdaleno in Philadelphia on Sunday morning, making him the new WBO super bantamweight/junior featherweight titleholder. “We encourage other Ghanaian boxers to take a cue from his legendary resilience and win more international laurels for country,’ party said.

Take on General Mosquito

On Asiedu Nketiah, who also spoke at the event, he is alleged to have made a categorical statement that the Akufo-Addo led NPP government had legalised homosexuality and thus allowed for same sex marriage in the country.

The party, in the statement read by Mr Boadu, would ordinarily not respond to “comic character” Asiedu Nketiah but were minded to respond to him because of the position he holds politically as General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Indeed, the NPP said that the President remained focused on delivering on his mandate, and improving on the quality of lives of the Ghanaian people.

The NPP stressed that “It will not be under his Presidency [Nana Akufo-Addo] that same-sex marriage will be legalized in Ghana. We will neither ask for an apology or retraction from the NDC General Secretary, who, obviously, is still stuck in the age of the politics of lies, deceit and propaganda, which was rejected decisively by discerning Ghanaians in the 2016 general elections.”

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