The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has turned down an invitation by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for a bipartisan approach to deal with the illegal small scale mining menace, popularly referred to as galamsey.
According to the Party, the invitation is a ‘weak-kneed’ attempt by President Akufo-Addo and his government to redeem their image in what they describe as a failed galamsey fight.
At at a news conference addressed by its Communications Director, Yaw Buaben Asamoah, the NPP called for the de-politicization of the fight in the interest of the country.
Yaw Buaben Asamoah added that though government has not fully succeeded in dealing with the menace, a lot of work has gone into protecting the country’s water bodies and curbing galamsey. He however called for support from the opposition parties in the country for a bipartisan approach to deal with the canker once and for all.
But reacting to the bipartisan call, Sammy Gyamfi, Communications officer for the largest opposition Party said the NPP, led by President Akufo-Addo should move beyond the ‘hollow rhetorics’ and take action against persons found complicit in the galamsey fight.
According to Sammy Gyamfi, the NDC will not accept any’needless’ bipartisan invitation from the sitting government if they don’t take concrete steps to punish persons found culpable in engaging in galamsey.
“The NPP is not our standard, we don’t care about this wishy-washy response they are providing. What we are interested in is that we want to see river pra, river brim, river Ankobrah, clear up and the only way we can achieve that is when President Akufo-Addo rises above the cheap, hollow rhetoric and begin to take concrete action to prosecute those who have been found to be engaging in galamsey.
“Until you punish those who engage in wrongdoing, it will lead to impunity like we are seeing today and so let’s not accept this wishy-washy invitation by NPP to engage in a needless conversation. The issue is that they know those who are engaging in galamsey, they know those who are involved in these excavators, seized goods from illegal miners, let them be brought to book. When we do that, we are setting the right examples,” he said.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has also added his voice to the call for a bipartisan approach in dealing with the issue of galamsey.
Speaking to ABC News, the Ofoase Ayirebi Member of Parliament said Ghana will continue to lose if the two major political parties fail to collaborate and fight the practice.
Watch the interview with the Minister below: