Veteran journalist Cameroon Duodo has suggested to the government to make use of the National Intelligence Bureau and the Economic and Organized Crime Unit (EOCO) in its fight against the illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.
In an Asaase Radio interview, Cameron Duodo called for a shift in the deployment of army personnel, stressing the need for a multi-faceted approach in clamping down on activities of illegal mining.
He opined that the government could increase the number of military personnel at the various sites and make use of intelligence in thwarting the activities of the illegal miners.
“If we enforce the law the way we are doing – not by sending 200 armed soldiers but a thousand, maybe two battalions – and if you give them time to do the recce, they can tell you how it will be done. “They all swoop on the rivers. The people will scatter and run. They will lose a lot of equipment and so on. And then make sure that the public what was got, where it is, whether it has been given back to the owners and how.
“The state has the apparatus to get the information. The information is probably locked up in somebody’s desk right now. Maybe there are dockets that have not been completed. And we all know why: it’s because there is money involved.
“So, the Minister of Interior should be ordered to get hard on the heels of the police. If the police Criminal Investigation Department cannot do it alone, they can borrow people from EOCO and BNI [now NIB] and even military intelligence to help them get the information and then pass it to the forces who can ensure that these people are not there,” he said.
He charged President Akufo-Addo to leave a legacy by ensuring that the battle to protect Ghana’s degrading water bodies is won.
He said the prosecution of some arrested illegal miners will serve as a deterrent to others and give the government an upper hand in the battle.
“It is not rocket science, my dear, it is just that we lack the political will. Fortunately for us, this is the president’s last term, and he can make things better for whoever succeeds him as the head of the party if he shows that he understands what crime and punishment means. And I know, being the lawyer that he is, [that] he understands,” Duodu said.