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General News of Thursday, 6 April 2017

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

Fight against galamsey will yield no result if affected victims don't join - Former MP

former Member of Parliament for the Kade constituency, lawyer Ofosu Asamoah has posited that the fight against illegal mining popularly called galamsey is only a wish that will never come through due to the individuals involved.

The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) and the Graphic Communications have joined forces in the fight against a canker that has bedeviled the country for years now, threatening the very existence of its citizens.

This canker, illegal mining popularly known as galamsey has destroyed vast tracts of land and several water bodies.

The group is embarking on a one million signature collection campaign to petition the president, Nana Akufo Addo and the speaker of parliament Prof. Mike Ocquaye to take action against illegal mining activities in the country.

The one million signature petition is to draw government’s attention to the fact that the media is solidly behind government to fight Galamsey.

Whatever decision government takes on galamsey, the coalition says it will support government fully.

Government has pledged its support for the fight launched by the media in curbing the illegal mining activity.

However, lawyer Ofosu Asamoah has alleged that, some security officers who are expected to clamp down on these illegal miners mostly foreigners, are extorting money from them.

Speaking to Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he gave an account of some military men who reportedly stormed an illegal mining site at Birim and instead of arresting them, ‘’they extorted money from the Chinese miners and allowed them to mine. They were in a white pick-up.

The Chinese are mining right in the Birim River. Chinese and some residents are mining in the Birim River.

This is worrying. We claim we want to fight galamsey but our security men expected to arrest the people are rather in support of their activities because of money.’’

According to him, residents’ close to the sites that the illegal miners operate, must begin to stand up against galamsey. ‘’Ghanaians must rise up against galamsey.

They must stop them from destroying our water bodies. People must rise up to their civic responsibility.

It is the citizens, the villages and the people who are directly affected by mining who must lead the way against galamsey so that, government will support where necessary.’’

The Chinese engaging in illegal mining were led by our own citizens to acquire the mining sites. Ghanaians front for foreigners to engage in illegal mining. So can we fight a menace being orchestrated by own people. ’’