President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says he will not punish his appointees in the fight against illegal mining in the country based on hearsay.
Speaking at the launch of the National Consultative Forum on Small-scale Mining (NCFSM) in Accra, the President said “I am determined to enforce the laws on illegal mining no matter the subject, high or low. I will, however, not act on hearsay or mere allegations without more.”
The president’s appointees to an anti-galamsey taskforce were caught on tape by ace undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas allegedly taking bribes from people and giving concessions to go do illegal mining.
The persons involved denied the allegations, in spite of glaring videos showing them taking money. They have since been cleared of all wrongdoing.
But the President said he will not hesitate to deal with his own men if there is hard evidence to prove their culpable.
“I will do so irrespective of the standing of the person or persons involved,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo put his presidency on the line promising to take down galamsey even if it will cost him his presidency. That was before his first term.
At the start of his second term he said the issue of galamsey should be a national discourse, so Ghanaians will make a final determination on it.
The President however called for a nonpartisan approach in the fight against galamsey which has destroyed a larger part of Ghana’s water bodies.
“We cannot have one part of the political divide campaigning for galamsey in the bush and the other waging an official fight against galamsey in the open,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo therefore urged the NCFSM to have candid deliberations on the galamsey challenge, devoid of partisanship or narrow parochial interests to bring finality to the fight.
On his part, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Jinapor, said he will need the help of all Ghanaians in dealing with galamsey.
“We will require a holistic and honest national effort anchored on the integrity of action. We will require a candid collaborative and collective action.
“Whatever sets of measures that will emanate from the deliberations over the next two days, if approved by the government will be implemented diligently without fear of favor,” Mr. Jinapr said.