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General News Tue, 28 Jan 2020

Swear by Antoa you’re not galamsey kingpins – A Plus dares NPP big men

Political activist and satirist Kwame Asare Obeng, better known as A Plus is peeved over the 'indulgence' of some bigwigs of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in illegal mining, daring them to swear by a deity to exonerate themselves.

“Go to any galamsey community and they will give you their names. I want the president to call them and ask them to swear by Antoa or Nogokpo (bible takes too long) if they are not the new "Lords" of galamsey in this country,” he said in a social media post, Tuesday.

A Plus, who endorsed then candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during the 2016 elections, suggested that he had hopes the fight against the canker would be won following the introduction of Operation Vanguard - the taskforce responsible for ensuring that illegal mining activities taking place in any part of the country is stopped – but it turns out that the action was just a camouflage.

He mentioned that apart from the involvement of some kingpins of the NPP, the government is lacking the political will to combat illegal mining as Ghana heads to the polls this year.

“When government formed "Operation Vanguard" to fight galamsey (illegal mining), I thought they were serious about the protection of our environment. Little did I know they were only using the force to steal mining concession, confiscate gold and equipment from locals and jail land owners just to pave way for some few NPP big men to take over and do worse to the environment than before,” he said.

“To be able to operate peacefully in the locality and also win votes in an election year, they have now allowed the same people who were once brutalized to go back to their so called illegal mining business.”

“My own Nana Akufo-Addo has also become an ordinary Ghanaian politician who only thinks about the next election and not the next generation. At your age, what will happen if you save the environment and lose an election?”

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When government formed "Operation Vanguard" to fight galamsey (illegal mining), I thought they were serious about the protection of our environment. Little did I know they were only using the force to steal mining concession, confiscate gold and equipment from locals and jail land owners just to pave way for some few NPP big men to take over and do worse to the environment than before. We were all in this country when the deputy speaker of parliament, a law maker for that matter suggested that people suspected of engaging in illegal mining must be shot and killed on the spot without trial. If I meet him, I'll give him a gun and a list of Big NPP guys who are now suspected NPP galamsey kingpins. As I type, galamsey is back in full swing, led by members of the same government which wanted to use the shoot to kill approach to end it. Go to any galamsey community and they will give you their names. I want the president to call them and ask them to swear by Antoa or Nogokpo (bible takes too long) if they are not the new "Lords" of galamsey in this country. Like Hon. Kennedy Agyapong said, the president had good intentions but his people are evil and greedy. These are the same people that their own Nana Obiri Boahene was alleged to have accused of grabbing wealth left right and center. To be able to operate peacefully in the locality and also win votes in an election year, they have now allowed the same people who were once brutalized to go back to their so called illegal mining business. You waste Major Mahama's life, kill some galamseyers, waste everybody's time and taxpayers resources on a useless venture like this and organize result fair for us to clap for you? My own Nana Akufo-Addo has also become an ordinary Ghanaian politician who only thinks about the next election and not the next generation. At your age, what will happen if you save the environment and lose an election? Your maker will reward you better if u save the environment and lose the election than to win an election, ride in a convoy around the country with police and military, fly around the world with 12 million dollars in 9 months to speak English like "akoo te brofo" at conferences

A post shared by The People's Person (@kwameaplus) on



A Plus’s comment comes on the back of the Forestry Commission’s statement that unseen powerful persons are behind the resurgence of illegal mining in some forest reserves in the country.

Rexford Twum-Damoah, Bekwai District Manager of the Forestry Commission, is said to have told journalists that illegal miners sometimes enjoy military protection, making the fight against galamsey impossible.

“They [the illegal miners] will always tell you our bosses, our bosses. You will go there and meet the boys [in the forest]. We came here with all forces and they also had military protection. The actual entry started around 2nd January 2020,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has said that about 90% of illegal small-scale miners (galamseyers) have ceased operations since the Operation Vanguard Team was established almost three years ago.

“I can say 90 per cent, by and large, [of] those who are doing galamsey, I can say about 90 per cent have stopped. These galamsey people are people who have no money to buy concessions, have no money to buy excavators; they get their shovels and things and go to the bush and start digging. That is what we call galamsey – gather and sell – these are people we are targeting. So far, we have about 20,000 for community mining and I’m saying that so far we have 20,000 or more”, he said in an interview on Monday.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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