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General News of Thursday, 27 May 2021


'Thank you, Mr. President, for burning our excavators' – Small Scale miners cry out in despair

A photo of President Akufo Addo A photo of President Akufo Addo

Vice-Chairman of the Small-Scale Miners Association, Benjamin Annan, has expressed that the Association is disheartened by the recent burning of excavators, recently endorsed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

According to him, the exercise has been targeted at the small-scale miners who have the license to operate rather than the galamseyers destroying the environment.

Benjamin Annan was especially pained by the President’s statement directing all aggrieved persons to go to court.

He told Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show: “The President’s statement telling aggrieved persons to go to court was in response to a question I asked during a media engagement last week. As small-scale miners, we sought to understand why directions given by the President during the Consultative Dialogue was different from the directions given by the President now.

I was expecting the President to add that he admits while the fight is against galamseyers, he has heard that some miners operating legally have been affected by the exercise so the minister should look into it to see the way forward. But if he says that he ordered for the burning of the excavators then it means he approves of what is going on so we thank him very much. They should go ahead and burn them”.

President Akufo-Addo

When questioned whether the Association plans to go to court following the President’s statement, Benjamin Annan was quick to express that the Association lacks confidence in the process of fighting the government in court.

“You were in this country and it was said that the elections are over so NDC should go to court. You saw what happened. So which court is he talking about? Our leaders have brought out a directive that anyone with license should move their equipment from the mining sites even though they are operating legally”.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked persons who do not agree with the current approach being adopted by the Government to stop illegal mining to seek redress in the law courts.

He pointed out that ridding the country’s water bodies and forests of Changfang machines and excavators in order to promote environmental sustainability for the present and future generations was lawful in the Galamsey fight.