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Politics of Tuesday, 1 May 2018


Mahama’s galamsey comments 'reckless' – NPP

The governing New Patriotic Party [NPP] has hit hard at former President John Mahama for criticizing government’s handling of the fight against illegal mining.

According to the NPP, Mr. Mahama’s attempt to run down the anti galamsey fight is cheap and unfortunate.

Former President John Mahama over the weekend, told NDC supporters that the use of soldiers to fight Galamsey would not yield results, adding that the measure was tried during his tenure but failed.

Speaking at the NDC’s unity walk in Kumasi on Saturday, he described the government’s approach in the anti-galamsey campaign as counterproductive.

“…it is true that if we don’t do something about it, it will destroy the environment. But we need to apply wisdom because we’ve chased young people involved in illegal small-scale mining with soldiers in the past in this country, but it didn’t work,” Mr Mahama had said.

However, John Boadu at a news conference in Accra on Monday said the former President’s comments should be ignored since they were borne out of desperation.

“The former President is on record to have slammed President Akufo Addo and his government for waging a war against illegal mining and its effect on the lives of the environment, particularly our water bodies and forest reserves. He also sought to incite illegal miners against the government, suggesting that if he becomes president – which I do not think will happen in his wildest dreams because of his incompetence that he exhibited when he was given the opportunity to do so, he would not clamp down on their activities and that he will protect their interest. How strange that is for a former President.”

“We in the NPP have always known that the former President is a desperate politician who will do anything for political power. What we did not know is that his desperation had reached this outlandish extent. His comment is by far the most opportunistic and reckless comment to have been made by any former Ghanaian leader. We condemn this recklessness in no uncertain terms and call on him to do the honourable thing,” Mr. Boadu said.

‘Ignore Mahama, he’s a conman – Amewu’

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, had equally taken on the former President for his comments, saying he failed to honour promises his administration made towards the growth of the mining sector.

John Peter Amewu stated in an interview with Citi News that in less than two years, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government had “created 12 mining districts and 33 satellite districts,” decentralizing the sector and bringing the resources closer to the people in the mining communities.

“What has Mahama been able to do? Today, we have created a lot of mining districts, we’ve created 12 mining districts and 33 satellite districts. We are bringing mining back to the decentralization level. The small-scale mining which was in the status quo was supposed to have mining communities. These were not inaugurated in all the years Mahama was President, we have just inaugurated them, bringing mining to the community of the owners of the resources.

“Decentralization, this is the approach, so I am so disappointed in [Mahama]. He cannot address the problems. I’m telling the small-scale miners that this gentleman is a con man. He’s deceiving them, and if they dare go in for him just because of galamsey, this country will come down.”