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Politics of Sunday, 30 May 2021

Source: starrfm.com.gh

GBA’s silence on Akufo-Addo endorsing the burning of excavators worrying – NDC vice chair

A photo of burnt excavators A photo of burnt excavators

The Eastern Regional Vice Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, William Atamudzi says the deafening silence of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) on President Akufo Addo’s public endorsement of 'lawlessness' against illegal mining is troubling.

At a sod-cutting ceremony for the commencement of a Law Village Project in Accra Wednesday, May 26, 2021, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo publicly endorsed the burning of excavators and other mining equipment being used for illegal mining.

The President however said any affected person can go to court for redress if they so wish.

The comment has been wildly criticized by many patriotic Ghanaians, opposition NDC and civil society groups including OccupyGhana.

Excerpts of the statement released by OccupyGhana on May 27, 2021, said “The President knows that he is wrong and that no interpretation of the clear language of his government’s own 2019 amendment supports the current ‘burn-on-sight’ policy. And that is why we find the President’s ‘go-to court’ challenge unfortunate. It is a bet on the factor of time and expense that ordinary Ghanaians would have to spend in fighting in court, to allow the government to perpetuate this palpable illegality and grave unconstitutionality.”

The Eastern Regional Vice Chairman of the NDC William Atamudzi in an interview with the media expressed his disappointment in GBA which he said is supposed to be the legal conscience of the country for remaining silent on the lawlessness and impunity under President Akufo Addo led government.

According to William Atamudzi, GBA must call out the President for his comment and bring him to point of order.

“I’m deeply worried that the GBA is silent on President Akufo Addo’s endorsement of lawless burning of excavators and mining equipment by persons allegedly engaging in illegal mining. This is a dent on GBA’s credibility because one of their members (President) said to be a Lawyer in good standing is completely out of order but the association is silent.

“This is obviously not good for our democracy and the earlier GBA speaks the better. Isn’t it strange that GBA, clergy and other groups who were loud under Mahama led government suddenly muted their voices under this government? This country cannot be fixed with hypocrisy and selectivity in judgement,” he said.

The Regional Vice-Chairman urged the government to go after persons alleged to be engaging in illegality in mining, prosecute and revoke the license of those who have it.

According to him, the fight against galamsey will become a fiasco if the kingpins behind it are left off the hook “because they can easily remobilize and return to the site when the dust settles”.

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