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General News of Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Source: happyghana.com

Galamsey Fight: Both NPP and NDC members are ‘bleeding’ - Allotey Jacobs

Allotey Jacobs, Former Central Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress Allotey Jacobs, Former Central Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress

Social Commentator, Allotey Jacobs has emphatically stated that a lot of party bigwigs of both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are also suffering from the government’s decision to end galamsey.

According to him, members of both factions have had their excavators and other mining equipment burnt to the ground because of the President’s new directive to end the menace of galamsey.

To him, President Akufo-Addo’s renewed efforts to fight galamsey is taking a non-partisan approach as the menace is causing grave environmental harm.

“We shouldn’t narrow the focus on the galamsey fight to Xtra Gold mining only. I know galamsey areas where we have both members of the NPP and NDC involved in the act. Now, members of both political divides are having their excavators burnt and they are all crying blood. Some are crying in their rooms and others are crying publicly because they want to court public sympathy.”

Allotey Jacobs shared that the war declared on galamsey is of high priority and “it will help us restore our water bodies to their safe state. Because the President is invested in the fight against galamsey, no one is willing to stab him in the back.”

The politician who is glad about the progress of ‘Operation Halt’ reiterated that the President’s directive which is being strictly enforced is not giving room for anyone to mine illegally. “The fight against galamsey should remain non-partisan and that is the only way we can win this fight,” he told Don Kwabena Prah on Happy98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political talk show.

On his accord, the government also needs to educate illegal miners and provide them with an alternative source of livelihood. “We need to deactivate their thinking also. As we are destroying excavators, there is also the need for government and CSOs to meet with these people and educate them,” he added.

In April 2021, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources issued the directive to cease all reconnaissance and prospecting activities in the forest reserves after a recent call by all stakeholders for government to rigidly apply sanctions on all those who break the law on small scale mining.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources decided to burn down excavators and equipment seized by security operatives as a measure to curb illegal mining in the country.

Prior to the burning of excavators, President Akufo-Addo ordered the deployment of about 200 soldiers to mining areas to clamp down on activities by illegal miners.

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