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Opinions of Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

An Appeal To Brigadier General Nunnoo Mensah

By Kofi Thompson


We are appealing to you directly, because you are one of the few principled, sincere and patriotic individuals at the top of Ghanaian society today, who when notified, will investigate, expose and ensure the prosecution of powerful and wealthy people, who transgress our nation's laws.

Sir, as we speak, there is sand-winning going on at Mame Yo, a hamlet at Kyekyewre, a village between Teacher Mante and Asuboi, on the Accra-Kumasi highway.

Given the topography and ecology of an area drained by a number of streams and the Kua River, it is difficult to see how an environmental impact assessment document would have been submitted and approval possibly given, after an on-site inspection by officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to those now engaged in the sand-winning going on in the area.

The presence of intimidating and violence-prone land-guards, who guard the ongoing crime riding motorcycles, is an obvious indication that what is going on is probably an illegal operation - and it is tantamount to the gang-rape of Mother Nature.

And as is typical in such situations, district-level officialdom cannot be relied upon to protect the natural environment now being degraded in such ruthless fashion. What is occurring at Mame Yo, is a crime against humanity - guaranteed to deprive future generations from enjoying a good quality of life and the ability to earn their living from farming in the area.

As usual, the posture of district-level officialdom is the three-wise-monkeys one: they see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil - in the face of an unspeakable and unpardonable abomination: the defacement of Mother Earth.

The ancestral land on which our forebears once toiled, and lovingly bred and raised their progeny, is now being destroyed by evil and greedy individuals - who clearly don't care one jot about the effect of their actions on the natural environment and on their fellow human beings.

Society in turn must not show them any mercy when they are finally apprehended. They must be exposed - and prosecuted and jailed for their heinous crimes.

Sir, we appeal to you to demand that the Suhum, Craboar Coaltar District Assembly orders an immediate cessation of the sand-winning in the area, whiles your office carries out an investigation into the monstrosity now going on at Mame Yo, Kyekyewre.

No individual or business entity should ever be permitted by the Minerals Commission to win sand in such an area - and if any such permission has been given, it should be swiftly revoked: because it can never be justified by those who issued it.

It is a pity that more and more, our democracy is taking on the appearance of a plutocracy, in which wealthy and powerful people - some of whom it is alleged bankroll our ruling elites - get away with serious crimes such as the evasion of billions in taxes, illegal sand-winning, illegal gold mining, illegal logging, money laundering, stealing land with the help of parts of officialdom, etc., etc.

In the meantime, our nation's jails are full of little people doing time for petty crimes for which they could equally do community service - and be of some use to society that way. The rich and powerful who commit egregious crimes never go to jail to pay for their crimes. They break our laws with impunity - and escape punishment even when they condemn future generations to penury in so doing.

Sir, we must halt the slide of Nkrumah's Ghana into an unjust and unfair society - in which top-level corruption slowly and steadily erodes the moral fibre of our dear nation. Democracy will never survive under such circumstances.

Please take on the powerful and greedy individuals who are busy turning what was a pristine natural environment into a pock-marked moonscape, which when it rains next year, will, as sure as day follows night, cause massive flooding and turn the lives of the innocents who farm there into a hell on earth - and all because a few powerful and wealthy individuals driven by unfathomable greed, wanted to increase their personal net worth yet further, into the stratosphere.

Sir, that is intolerable - and we appeal to you to halt it. We know you will take action swiftly, as you always do, when ordinary people face such dire situations and appeal directly to you for help.

We thank you in advance for your assistance. And may God bless, protect and guide you always.

Yours in the service of Mother Ghana,

Kofi Thompson.

Tel: 027 745 3109.