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Opinions of Sunday, 25 June 2017

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

China’s offer of US$2 Billion to Ghana must not derail the Nation’s war on galamsey

Hardly had President Nana Akufo-Addo gained the keys to Flagstaff House, the seat of government, when he was confronted with the public’s outcries to end the destructive surface mining otherwise called galamsey, from Ghana.

Being a listening leader and a true democrat who has the welfare of his people and nation at heart; a leader ready to be of selfless service to his people and nation, he vowed to stop the galamsey that is wreaking havoc on our ecosystem.

Foreigners, principally the Chinese, are in the lead of prospecting for gold in Ghana using the aggressively devastating method of galamsey without any care for our water bodies, arable lands and forests. They do not have any respect for the country’s laws. This fact was proven when that Chinese woman called Aisha and her workers disregarded the ultimatum issued by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. John Peter Amewu, to stop all activities of galamsey in the country by a stated date.

This woman who is established to be a renowned and an expensive prostitute and manipulator, and offers her body to Government Ministers and high-ranking police and military officers to facilitate the attainment of her propensity to milk Ghana dry through her unrestricted galamsey activities, treated the Minister with disdain hence flouting his order of ultimatum.

In the wake of the people’s mobilised efforts and determination to stop galamsey by hook or by crook, the Chinese ambassador to Ghana cleverly gave the police GHC50, 000 and the Attorney General’s office GHC10, 000. Tongues were wagging querying the motive of such offers at that particular timing when some Chinese disobeying government’s ultimatum to cease all galamsey activities had been apprehended.

Now that Ghana has signed a memorandum of understanding for US$2 billion from the Chinese government, are we going to look the other way for the Chinese galamseyers in Ghana to restart or continue with their destructive surface mining on the Ghanaian soil?

I hope the government will not lose focus on her resolute determination to protect our lands, water bodies and environment for posterity.

Yes, Ghana is in dire need of money to carry out some projects capable of creating jobs for the youth. However, it should not be at the expense of the future existence and well-being of Ghana and her citizens.

Yes, anything free comes at a price. The Chinese soft loan should not be allowed to induce us to permit them to exploit our mineral resources and lands as and when they like. The money they are giving us is a loan to be paid back to them at an interest whether low or high so we should not be influenced by the softness of the loan to leave the Chinese to savage our lands and water bodies.

I pray to see the day when Ghana will be self-sufficient to raise her own money from within the country to carry out projects without resort to foreign loans which come with constraints attached to seek to reduce us to second class citizens.

We should not allow any foreign loans to hold us to ransom thereby reducing us to slave status in our own land.

Forward ever and backward never! The fight against galamsey goes on unabated!