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General News of Friday, 26 May 2017

Source: classfmonline.com

Galamsey fight: I didn’t fail – Victor Smith

Former Eastern Regional Minister Victor Smith has refuted suggestions that he failed to tackle illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.

According to him, he was able to clamp down on the activity and seize equipment of culprits during his short tenure.

Responding to a question whether he failed in curbing the menace, Mr Smith, who was a guest on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen on Friday May 26, told host Kwadwo Asare Baffour-Acheampong: “I didn’t…”

He insisted: “I was just there for one year and I was able to hold a few things in check including the Fulani herdsmen problem and galamsey.”

He maintained that he implemented the laws on mining to the extent that some people whom he prevented from embarking on galamsey “were at loggerheads with me because I seized people’s equipment for not reclaiming the land and I am not bothered when you choose not to talk to me again because I was doing what is right”.

He explained that there were “chiefs” who were involved as well as “politicians”, to the extent that he had to inform Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II to call some of the culprits to order.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has launched a war on galamsey. Since assuming office, it has taken a number of steps including suspending the issuance of new licences for small-scale mining in the country. It has also successfully seen over 1000 illegal mining equipment withdrawn from mining sites across the country.