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General News of Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Source: todaygh.com

Chiefs, police, politicians accused of sabotaging government’s efforts to stop galamsey

Scores of youth in mining communities in Western, Eastern, Central, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions have accused their chiefs and traditional leaders together with politicians and police officers of sabotaging efforts of the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to flush out the irresponsibility activities of illegal small-small miners in the country.

According to them, their chiefs and traditional leaders who sold lands to illegal miners to mine gold and other minerals were making the government look bad in the eyes of the public, especially those in the mining communities, who had so much hope in the government to fight illegal mining activities, popularly termed galamsey.

They disclosed to Today that some chiefs and traditional leaders in the above regions, in towns including Anyinam, Kunsu, Dunkwa, Osino, Saaman, Obuasi, Nkwakwa and Prestea-Nsuta, Bogoso, Tarkwa have connived with illegal miners to violate the government’s ban placed on illicit activities of small-scale miners.

They pointed out that anytime their chiefs and politicians get wind of the anti-galamsey task force patrolling their communities they secretly advise illegal miners to vacate their mining pits.

And after the anti-galamsey task force have come to these communities and left, according to the youth, their chiefs will then call these illegal miners via telephone and ask them to come back and continue their illegal operations.

According to the youth, their chiefs and politicians were doing this because they were making loads of cash from the galamseyers.

Fuming with anger, they [the youth] therefore, charged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to crack the whip on traditional leaders, chiefs and politicians who have been aiding illegal miners to destroy lands and water bodies through illegal mining activities.

Leading the crusade to get President Akufo-Addo to order the arrest and prosecution of these traditional leaders, chiefs and politicians who are behind illegal mining activities in the country are the concerned youth in Prestea-Nsuta, Anyinam, Obuasi, Kenyase Number One and Two in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

Many of the youth who spoke to Today in an interview mentioned that in Anyinam, Osino, Nkwakwa, Dukwa, Prestea, Bogoso, Kwameniapa, Obuasi, Marekete, Bondaye, Dankyira, Adieworsu, Jumako, Abura, Tontu, Mempeasem, Twifo Praso, Beposo, Sekyere-Krobo, Sekyere-Didiso, Basase and Sekyere-Nsuta, for instance, some chiefs and their elders including politicians were at the forefront of galamsey. They noted that open pit galamsey was widespread in these areas, and thus called on President Akufo-Addo to deploy a sizeable number of security personnel to monitor and investigate operations of illegal miners throughout the country.

They also urged the president to follow his words to clamp down activities of illegal miners with action by ordering for the arrest of traditional leaders, chiefs and politicians who were secretly supporting people in destroying the country’s environment and water bodies.