Opinions Wed, 28 Jun 2017

Bawumia’s trip to China and matters arising

“China is boosting Ghana’s government’s ‘One District One Factory’ initiative with a funding facility worth up to $2 billion” (Source: peacefmonline.com, Sunday June 25, 2017).

The foregoing source went further to report that “the MOU was signed in Beijing, China on Wednesday June 21, 2017, on the sidelines of the four-day official visit of Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to China, the first by a high-level government official visit since the New Patriotic Party took office in January this year.”

Are some African leaders under a curse? Perhaps they are!“Incompetent Mahama” almost invariably became a household sobriquet for ex- President John Dramani Mahama (JDM) of National Democratic Congress until January 7, 2017. JDM was accused of extirpating the economy beyond my ability to articulate. Hence the name incompetent Mahama.

The current Vice President, Dr. Mohamadu Bawumia intransigently trumpeted the tag “incompetent Mahama”. Dear reader, kindly permit me to use the epithet “Competent Bawumia” for the noble Vice President of Ghana.

Competent Bawumia has plunged most of his admirers into the state of puzzlements. Some of us are curious to know, why Chinese loan at a time when Ghana is on the crossroad of mining debacle and environmental degradation/pollution, of which greatest effect, immigrants from China?

Far from being stereotypical about the Chinese illegal miners, a river and environmentally friendly alluvial gold mining had been going on in Ghana since pre-colonial times. The environmental pollution started with the influx of Chinese miners into Ghana.

Are Chinese father Christmas to loan Ghana on favorable terms at this period of fighting the menace of illegal mining (Galamsey)? Mr. Vice President, no environmentally conscious citizen of Ghana will receive the news of this Chinese deal without a heart-wrenching grief. These are my reasons.

China is craving conceitedly for global dominance through the scramble for natural resources and intercontinental infrastructural linkages. This somewhat elucidates why there was a massive protest in Sri Lanka over Chinese ownership of a seaport recently. Some citizens of Sri Lanka, registered their discontent about Chinese control over the Hambantota region for generations.

The President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, signed a groundbreaking deal with China. Per the above agreement, almost 80% share of the Hambantota deep sea port, as well as an earmarked industrial area land, will be ceded to China for the next 99 years in exchange for $1.1 billion in debt relief. This deal had sparked off protest in Sri Lanka. Click here.

In Cambodia, the forest is being degraded at a dizzying pace due to Chinese’ illegal lumbering. Clamping down illegal lumbering in Cambodia has turned bloody. For instance, Hang Serei Oudom, a Cambodian local journalist suffered a horrendous murder for attempting to create awareness of Chines illegal lumbering in the Cambodian Forest.

“In the Gambian Republic, the inhabitants of Gunjur village are interlocking horns with Chinese Golden Lead factory for destroying Bolong Fenyo; a wildlife reserve. The river at the reserve had been polluted beyond imagination. The anger of the inhabitants is escalating as their river is contaminated with hazardous chemicals and the color of the water becoming palpably reddish.

In Zambia, there are growing concerns of Chinese controlling the proprietorship of the coal mining industry” (Source: Nana Yaw Osei, Chinese Factor, Environment and Global Natural Resources, peacefmonline.com, June 13, 2017).

If Chinese would give $ 1.1 billion for Sri Lankans for a sea port, how could they give $2 billion to Ghana without flinty conditions? We are desirous to know. China is making frantic effort to buffer the Galamsey fight in Ghana.

They politely and diplomatically presented gifts to Ghana Police Service and Attorney General Department upon realizing that media campaign against galamsey had gathered momentum. The Chinese’s insatiable greed for Ghanaian gold became so glaring when Chinese ambassador in Ghana publicly admonished Ghanaian media to be balanced on galamsey reportage.

China will not give a loan to Ghana without covert reasons. I think Dr. Bawumia must be grilled by our legislators. He must explain why Ghana needs investors and a loan from China during this galamsey fight.Is China the only country that can help? We were all dumbfounded about the gory murder of Major Maxwell Mahama at Denkyira Obuasi in the name of galamsey fight.

The security personnel also have families and we must avoid creating messes for them always. The death of Major Mahama must goad us to continue galamsey fight.

Show me a desert, and I will show you the importance of water bodies and trees. China cannot mortgage our resources. Come again, Dr. Bawumia! God bless Our Homeland Ghana.

Columnist: Nana Yaw Osei
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