President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated that he was unfazed by the continuous threats by illegal small scale miners, otherwise known as galamseyers, in the country.
Consequently, the President made it clear that no amount of threats from galamseyers to vote against him will move him to halt the fight against the galamsey menace.
“I’ve been told there are young men who have said they voted for me and if I continue down this way they can be sure that they will not vote for me again in 2020.
“Well, the 2020 vote it’s not clear if Akufo-Addo’s name will be on the ballot in the first place and even if his name is on the ballot, this is not going to be the reason why I’ll stop, I’m going to continue,” the President said.
The President added “we cannot and should not destroy our lands and water bodies and our environment in the search for gold and other minerals.”
Addressing journalists at the Flagstaff House in Accra yesterday vis-à-vis his first six months in office, President Akufo-Addo reassured Ghanaians that he will not relent in his efforts to see the fight against illegal small scale mining to its desired end.
“I do not think that there should be doubt amongst us, we are all aware that this phenomenon is threatening the future of our nation. You have witnessed that our rivers are drying out, our landscapes are being defaced and devastated…our forests are being attacked, reserved beds in our country are being mined extensively for minerals.
“So all these I think are obvious to all of us. It is not only Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is saying that illegal mining activities are destroying our water bodies and environments. And so I believe that the time has come to do something about it,” he told journalists during his media encounter.
The President recounted what he termed as “an embarrassing spectacle” when the Ivorian President, Mr. Alassane Ouattara, at a recent conference attended by Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, complained about how Ivorian rivers were being polluted as a result of galamsey activities in Ghana.
“Rivers, waters, forests don’t know national boundaries; they run across nations. The activities of Ghanaian illegal miners are jeopardising the space of our neighbours,” he said.
“Rivers that have been with us for centuries are drying up…” he said, adding that it is time to end this debacle.
“It will be a betrayal of the trust reposed in me if I fail to end this,” he stated, but was quick to point out that his commitment alone will not be enough to solve the canker.
Mincing no words, the President commended the Ghanaian media for leading the campaign against illegal mining.
“I want to acknowledge with special thanks, the support and role being played by the media in the fight against galamsey,” Akufo-Addo said.
He added that the media with the overwhelming support of all well-meaning citizens of this country have given true meaning to the call for all to be good citizens and not spectators.
According to President Akufo-Addo, government’s fight against illegal mining was not an attempt to deny people of jobs but a quest to hold in trust a safe environment for future generations.