Economist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Festus Ebo Turkson, has expressed sympathy for President Akufo-Addo, in the wake of recent controversies surrounding some missing excavators and galamsey activities.
The President, in July 2017, put his presidency on the line, with a commitment to end the illegal small scale mining popularly called, ‘galamsey’ in Ghana.
While addressing a forum against illegal mining organized chiefly to get Ghana’s chiefs involved in the fight against illegal mining, Nana Akufo-Addo said,
“I have said it in the Cabinet, and perhaps this is the first time I am making this public, that I am prepared to put my Presidency on the line on this matter.”
Years on and the menace still persists. Most recent to have emerged in the news is the subject of some missing 500 excavators; equipment which were seized from illegal miners.
Attributing government’s failure in the fight against galamsey, Dr. Turkson said on Newsfile;
“I feel so sorry for the President. This is a president whom when he assumed office, he put his presidency on the lines, he said, I’m going to fight galamsey and win the fight against galamsey.
But from the stories we have been hearing over the weeks, the appointees who were supposed to support government, especially the President in his desire to end galamsey, are not doing so.”
“It looks like people don’t get prosecuted for what they want, that is why we have people going back to buy back or pay bribes for their equipment, they go back to do what they are doing.
We should see these people going to court….Our law courts should treat this as a national security issue. When these issues come up, we should deal with it inistantly and see people being jailed.”
He advocated for strict measures to be taken and sanctions meted to these culprits, to serve as a deterrent to others engaged in the illegal activity.
“Not until lots of people are jailed and let the people doing this with impunity know that if I do this, I’m going to be jailed, people will still do it.”