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Opinions of Thursday, 11 May 2017

Columnist: Alhassan Andani

Aisha holds one of the weapons needed to fight galamsey

Ok, after I keenly monitored the Bugri-Otiko exchange of verbal attacks, I laid on bed last night thinking about the benefit I had from the feud between the two party bigwigs. I mulled over this to the point of breaking down my thinking cap but I couldn’t find any except the grammar I learnt from chairman Bugri and the arrogance from minister Otiko. So I thought it wise to write a column about something that have a direct impact on my future on this earth which is illegal small scale mining better known in the local parlance as ‘galamsey’!

Galamsey has left a devastating toll on the environment of mother Ghana which is egregious and umpteen. This has sent a wakeup call to government and other stakeholders to tackle the menace with all the seriousness it deserves. The ministry of lands and natural resources has recently been up to the task.

An ultimatum was given to all illegal small scale miners to vacate their sites of operation and many equipment like excavators were ceased. The brunt of the raid of galamsey sites knew not a national, social status or economic status. All one needed to qualify for the bearing of the brunt was to be on site during the raid as a galamsayer. Ghanaians who were sycophants and other nationals who were opportunists were arrested.

One Chinese woman, Aisha Heung, whom many described as “galamsey queen” was arrested during the course of the week for onward probe by the Ghana Immigration service.

Aisha allegedly blackmails decision makers and those charged with authority to protect the interest of our environment with sex tapes whenever there is a tendency that she may be arrested to face the full rigors of the law. This is absolutely unbelievable in the sense that one would not have imagined that people charged with authority and public trust would have stoop that low by engaging in batter trade with our future using our beauteous environment as barter.

As it may be, I think the woman must be compelled to release the so called videos for public perusal.

Aisha Heung must be blackjacked to release the videos because it is a tool whose impact in this anti galamsey fight cannot be downplayed.

Upon the release, we would see the unpatriotic and hypocrite Ghanaians who will always be on the frontline to sell Ghana’s future for peanuts but will turn around to stand at ease to sing the national anthem and recite the national pledge. Let’s not only be interested in the seizure of excavators and heavy duty equipment on galamsey sites because these videos are also a heavy duty equipment though it doesn’t run on engine oil. The videos must hit the public domain to help us name, shame and if possible jail irresponsible Ghanaians whose actions nearly cost us a historic future importation of water and a possible famine.

The galamsey kingpin, Aisha, must also release the videos for us to nail people to the cross to serve as deterrent to any Zimbabwean or Chinese who still have the penchant to mine illegally in Ghana. This will even send a strong signal to the Chinese ambassador to Ghana that even our men at top echelon of power are not spared needless to talk of any Chinese residing in Ghana without the legal documents and permit to provide mining services or to engage in illegal small scale mining. There is no need for any cover up in this matter if only we are not suffering from selective myopia. Aisha must help us know the ostriches and social misfits as she is now in captivity. She must be interrogated further about this whole issue of blackmailing people with a video. If it is under her care, she must produce it!

The public perception always indicts the politician in Ghana. The public see them as corrupt people and so on. These videos under discussion could further worsen the public perception but still it bears releasing. Already they are suspects, especially when the former regional ministers of the Ashanti region are interviewed in turns by media houses to satisfy their curiosity. I got to hear her name only on news file when it was mentioned by uncle Malik Kweku Baako Jnr.

All stakeholders in this galamsey fight should advocate for the release of the said videos in Aisha’s possession. The veteran journalist and the ‘chief interceptor’ of documents should not wriggle himself out of this. He should help us lay our hands on this hard core evidence.

You may think I am from an immoral home. You many think my moral standards is as wobbling as that of the manager of a brothel. You may think I want to disgrace honourable members in society. You may say I am among those who always used sex tapes from intimacy as conduit to siphon monies from women. Well, opinions are like noses and you can equally possess one. But it will be unthinkable to still address someone with an honourable title when that person has ripped the title off himself by engaging in dishonourable activities.

Aisha Heung was powerful previously but she is currently a lapdog. Let’s get this weapon from her to help us fight galamsey!