Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio has described as embarrassing, a promise by former President John Dramani Mahama to grant amnesty to all jailed illegal miners if he is re-elected.
According to him, the former president is only running his mouth knowing very well that his chances of winning the December polls are extremely slim.
Speaking to CitiNews on the back of the former president’s promise and government's achievements in the mining sector, Benito Owusu-Bio said “It is an embarrassment because of the person this particular promise is coming from. Currently, he is promising heaven and earth. I know that he will not even win the election. He is promising something that he cannot do…”
The Deputy Minister insisted that contrary to what John Mahama has made his party fanatics believe, no Ghanaian illegal miner has been jailed by the ruling NPP government.
Former president John Dramani Mahama during a campaign tour in the Mpohor Constituency in Western Region, October 22, 2020 said “…That Chinese galamsey queen was arrested but left to go free. She was never prosecuted but our people are in jail suffering. When we come, we shall grant all those arrested and jailed some amnesty…It’s sad. The government said it was fighting galamsey, and they arrested, prosecuted, and jailed Ghanaians who were engaged in that activity but left the Chinese woman.”
But Mr Owusu-Bio expressed utter shock and disbelief in the former president’s statement.
He has therefore, challenged John Mahama to come out with specific figures of the number of Ghanaian illegal miners who he claims have been incarcerated.
“…He should tell us how many people have been put behind bars…Even when we increased the punitive measures, no one was jailed. So, I am surprised about what he is talking about. Let him come out and tell us the number of people that were jailed. He is just promising and lying to appeal to the public for votes,” he added.
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