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General News of Friday, 28 May 2021


Up intelligence gathering, galamsey kingpins ain't some 'battalion of ghosts' - Baako

Kweku Baako Jnr, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide play videoKweku Baako Jnr, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide

Seasoned journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has jumped to the defence of the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu constituency,Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa for claiming there are galamsey overlords and that the Akufo-Addo government will fail in her fight against galamsey unless the overlords are arrested.

Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa argued that the efforts by the task force deployed to stop galamsey activities will be unfruitful until "one galamsey overlord, one real architect, an actual financier is arrested and prosecuted".

"How come not even one architect behind this galamsey operation has been arrested? To start a galamsey operation, you need millions of Ghana cedis and so the real perpetrators are not those small boys or the youth who are risking their lives.

"Instead of arresting these guys, we should make them an offer for them to lead us to the real kingpins; if we follow the chain, it will lead us to the barons. Unless we get the real perpetrators, we will always come back to square one," he stated while speaking with broadcaster Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM's ''Kokrokoo''.

In a separate interview with Daily Graphic, the MP emphasized that “only fearless truth and unquestionable integrity can be our saving grace. God help the Republic''.

Following his comments, Mr. Ablakwa has come under intense barrage of criticisms.

But responding to Mr. Ablakwa's critics, Kweku Baako asked if what the MP said was true or false.

''Is that a fact or it's not a fact? Rich men, politicians, Chiefs, security officials; is it true or it's not true?''

To him, Hon. Ablakwa spoke the gospel truth.

''I'm inclined to say it is true'', he insisted while discussing the issue on the Wednesday edition of ''Kokrokoo''.

Kweku Baako revealed the galamsey big men or overlords are not ghosts but rather are well-known by the intelligence services.

''If we say we don't know them, then there is intelligence suspect. Our intelligence capability is suspect and must be upgraded. It must be added to the effort to this fight against galamsey'', he argued.

He charged the intelligence services to go after and arrest the galamsey kingpins, believing should an arrest be effected, it will create a ''culture of deterrence'' which will help in the galamsey fight.

''They have the capability. They have the potential and with the right direction and commitment, look, they can come out with information that will help. I won't say it will 100 percent. You may end up somewhere you cannot find the owner or you cannot find who provided or who brought it into the country; always have a grey area of some failure...But if you have dedicated yourself and focus properly, in the process, you will still be able to get some. Those you get, when you punish them, you create a culture of deterrence. You don't give up.

''I'm not about to accept that, in actual fact, it's some battalion of ghosts who is engaged in this galamsey exercise. If we up and upgrade our intelligence capability and commit ourselves to that, we will able to find them, perhaps not all. But once you find some and you subject them to the rule of law, in this case prosecution, conviction and sentence, you create a culture of deterrence'', he maintained.