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General News of Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Politicians, police officers deeply involved in galamsey – Former MP

The former Member of Parliament for Kade Constituency in the Eastern Region, Ofosu Asamoah has revealed that some police officers, Members of Parliament and chiefs are deeply involved in illegal mining in Ghana.

According to him, their deep involvement in the illegal activity has compromised the strict enforcement of the law to deal with the problem.

“In dealing with this problem decisively, I have been watching the government from behind past and present as to how they confront this problem using the military and I don’t think that is the best because even the Military and the Police are deeply involved,” he said.

He added that “when these Chinese mine this gold and other things in Amansie, in the Western Region and they are bringing it to Accra, who escorts them from the dangers of being attack? It is the Police and the Military.

Sometimes with their own vehicles. They escort them. There are police officers who are deeply involved… Politicians are involved, you have Ministers, you have Members of Parliament involved and the Chiefs;, they are the worst.

They have been collecting the monies [from the perpetrators].” The former deputy Easter Regional Minister made the revelation on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. There has been a long-held perception about the involvement of very influential people in the galamsey operation but the MP’s revelation confirms their existence in the scheme of operations.

Many communities in Ghana are currently suffering the negative effects of galamsey which has left most of Ghana’s fresh water poisonous. Thousands of acres of fertile farmlands have also been destroyed as a result of galamsey.

Although Ghana’s laws are clear on illegal mining the activity, it has been allowed to continue for more than two decades.

Citi FM has been at the fore front of media advocacy for a decisive and firm action from the government in dealing with the menace with inside and out-of-studio events.

Meanwhile, president Akufo-Addo has said his government is working to develop a policy that will deal with galamsey in the country.

But according to Mr. Ofosu Asamoah, locals must be allowed to champion the campaign against galamsey to ensure that the practice is stopped. According to him, the complex nature of the galamsey does not make it prudent to introduce military force.

He said the locals must be educated and conscientized on the various negative effects of illegal mining to enable them appreciate the development and the need to rise against it.

“To stop this galamsey, the first people to lead it is the people; The chiefs and then government supports.

This battle should not be a government led approach. What we have to do now is to educate the people. [Lets tell them], now your rivers are dying, you can’t use your water either for cooking or bathing… When we get the people to appreciate the problem, then the people themselves are now going to stop the people from mining. Let the people rise to their civic responsibilities,” he said.