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General News of Wednesday, 24 May 2017


MPs meet over 'galamsey soldiers'

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and the Interior will be holding an emergency meeting today, May 24, to discuss news of the involvement of some military officers in illicit small-scale mining activities (galamsey) in the country, Ernest Henry Norgbey, Member of Parliament for Ashaiman and a member of the committee, has revealed.

According to him, the government of Ghana has gained support from almost every Ghanaian in the fight against the menace due to the dire consequences it presents, and, so, it is extremely disturbing for the military, which is supposed to be serving the interest of the state, to be shielding those engaged in this questionable mining activity.

His comments follow a claim by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, that some soldiers were offering protection to illegal miners in the Ashanti Region.

Commenting on this matter in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday May 24, Mr Norgbey said: “It has come to me as a surprise because this particular programme the government is pursuing to its logical conclusion should be of concern to every well-meaning Ghanaian. So if one [agency] of the government, which is the military or the armed forces, will be seen involving themselves in protecting these people, then something must be wrong somewhere. So I think the authorities must investigate this matter.

“In the first place, who authorised the military men to go and protect these people, because they cannot just leave their barracks or their unit and go there to protect these people.

“They must seek permission from their authorities before doing this. If so, who has given them this permission or otherwise? Do they go there on their own volition? So all these things must be investigated to know where this particular issue is coming from.

“It will be a surprise to me if we are all fighting this particular menace and then we seem also to be violating the law by protecting these people to continue the canker that is going on in this country. It is a worry. Today the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament will go for an emergency meeting and I think the Chairman will table this particular issue for discussion.”