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Opinions of Friday, 7 April 2017

Columnist: Asamoah, Kofi Sr

Galamsey menace: A national security concern

By: Kofi Asamoah, Sr.

It is disheartening to see the devastation of our forests and pollution of rivers and water bodies in Ghana, by illegal miners (a.k.a. galamsey). Ghana appears to be without any government. Illegal mining has gone on for years, destroying our environment while our so-called governments and other stakeholders turn blind eye.

This menace is a national security issue that needs urgent, effective and a lasting solution. Apart from the long term environmental, health, and economic ramifications, galamsey poses serious national security threat to this nation.

I’m deeply alarmed by a security analyst, Mr David Agbey’s statement that Chinese are not the only foreigners involved in illegal mining in Ghana. He states that “People from United States, Israel, Turkey, Nigeria, and people from neighbouring countries are all directly involved in this galamsey business.” This is exactly what’s happening in other African countries.

The most alarming part of Mr Agbey’s observation is that some personnel from the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and other security agencies are also directly involved. Speaking in an interview with Emefa Apawu on the 505 programme on Class 91.3FM on Tuesday April 4, 2017, he said: “Go to the grounds and find out whether BNI officials are not involved in this galamsey business. You should go to the ground in the Western Region, all the districts where they are mining gold, whether BNI officials are not buying big equipment and whether they are not directly involved in this galamsey business.“ General News of Wednesday, 5 April 2017 Americans Doing Galamsey Too: David Agbey. Source: classfmonline.com and ghanaweb,com

This is a serious indictment of our security forces. If what Mr Agbey is saying is true, I’m really afraid for this country. I foresee a replay of the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Ghana. In that country, foreigners from around the globe have armed themselves and their local collaborators, and have plunged the country into a mess, and ungovernable.

Ghanaians will be naïve to think that what’s happening in D.R.Congo and elsewhere can’t happen here. Once these foreigners in particular, start bringing in weapons, we’ll be in deep trouble.

I implore His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government to take the galamsey menace very seriously. The Ministers of National Security, and Interior should call on Mr David Agbey and others to assist in ferreting out those national security personnel involved in the galamsey menace.

Wake up fellow Ghanaians, for this nation’s future is at stake. Our water bodies, forests and farms are being destroyed by foreigners and selfish Ghanaians, who don’t give a hoot about this country. I urge all Ghanaians to press the government to solve the galamsey menace. Our survival as a nation is very shaky.