General News Mon, 7 May 2018

Mahama government ‘shielded’ big men in galamsey; Akufo-Addo doing same – Baako

Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako, has accused the erstwhile John Mahama administration of refusing to crack the whip on powerful politicians engaged in illegal mining popularly known as galamsey, even when it was presented with credible documentation establishing their complicity.

According to him, the Akufo Addo led-government is also showing that same worrying attitude.

“…Let me be blunt, enough documentation and records were made available to the Mahama administration as well as this (Akufo Addo) administration on involvement of key political operatives. Regional Chairmen, constituency executives, some of these things are documented with the Ghana Police Service and nothing is being done because of these political elements. If we don’t take that political element out, we should forget it.” Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako said on Joy FM’s News File show on Saturday.

He also hinted that world acclaimed undercover Journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, is almost ready with what he describes as an ‘explosive’ exposé on illegal mining.

“Anas’ fight against galamsey is work in progress, let nobody be deceived that it’s been aborted, it has not been. It is almost 80% to 85% complete.”

The veteran journalist revealed that the investigations which has taken Anas (his protege) two years to undertake will reveal how influential persons including chiefs, politicians and persons in the security services are neck deep in the menace which continues to wreck havoc on the environment and water bodies for their selfish interest.

He believes the naming, shaming and possible prosecution of these big men who are behind the practice of galamsey will go a long way in fighting the illegal activity.

Following the widespread devastation of water resources and forest reserves as a result of the activities of illegal mining, the Akufo Addo government in January 2017 placed a ban on small scale mining for a period of six months.

But the ban was extended in October 2017, for another three months, which ended in January 2018, with the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu explaining that his outfit had to extend the ban again after small scale miners failed to meet the target set for them to have it reviewed.

Government in March 2018, for the third time extended the ban placed on all forms of small-scale mining.

The issue of galamsey has been an age old problem with successive governments finding it very difficult to fight. The Lands and Forestry Minister, John Peter Amewu recently disclosed that government will start using drones to augment its efforts to effectively combat illegal mining to ensure the protection of the country’s water bodies.

Source: kasapafmonline.com
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