General News of 2014-02-28

Mahama did not condemn galamsey taskforce - Malor

The presidency has rejected Myjoyonline.com report that President John Mahama condemned the activities of the task force set up to stop the activities of illegal miners.

The Communications Advisor to the president Ben Dotsei Malor said "the president did not and I repeat did not condemn the work of the anti-galamsey task force he himself set up... And its deeply unfortunate that when the president means well for us Ghanaians today and for generations to come that we should not destroy the rich resources God has blessed us with that this will be totally misrepresented and put out this way."

The president's comments on the operation of the anti-galamsey task force at durbar of chiefs and people of Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Central Region on Thursday had been misunderstood.

Speaking in a local dialect, Twi, the president, among other things, stated he was unhappy that the task force has been chasing the youth who are involved in galamsey for a living.

He announced a reclamation policy in which the task force will work together with the galamsey operators to refill lands that had been destroyed by the activities of galamsey.

Ben Dostei Malor said at no point did the president condemn the task force and described the report as a misrepresentation of what the president said.

He said the president rather admonished the chiefs and other local authorities to work together to protect the environment, the only inheritance to be left for future generations.

Making an analogy of how a father will reluctantly employ corporal punishment to straighten a wayward child, Malor said the president only told the youth they are reluctantly having to use the task force to stop the galamsey menace.

"So to have the story twisted," he insisted is wrong. "We are all in this together. Ghana belongs to all of us," Malor stated.