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Nana Akufo-Addo should stop giving mixed signals to galamseyers

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

If President Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo is really serious about putting a complete cessation to all illegal mining activities in the country, then he ought to put a moratorium, or a definitive freeze, on the issuance of any new mining registration certificates until the Galamsey menace has been brought to a screeching halt. And then he and his appointees can sit down and soberly resume the awarding of such concessions with the safety of our environment in the foreground of such decisions. The impasse currently raging between the Asante Regional Minister, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, and the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Mr. John Peter Amewu, does not augur well for the success of Galamsey cessation (See “Produce Documents Before I Release Mining Equipment – Osei-Mensah to Peter Amewu” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/22/17).

In the latest impasse, we learn that a company by the name of Exton Cubic Group Limited was recently issued a mining permit by Forestry Commission Head, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie – I am hereby assuming the latter to be the same as the man popularly known as “Sir John,” the former General-Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) – which was promptly approved and ratified by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister to mine bauxite at Nyinahin, in the Atwima-Mponua District of the Asante Region. Unfortunately, the documents authorizing Exton Cubic Group Limited to commence mining in the Atwima-Mponua District was not copied to the Asante Regional Minister. Neither were the same copied to the Atwima-Mponua District Chief Executive Officer. As was to be expected, Mr. Osei-Mensah, the Asante Regional Minister, swiftly intervened to stop Exton Cubic Group Limited from commencing with any mining activities in the area.

This is perfectly understandable, for in the words of Mr. Osei-Mensah, “I have to protect myself against any future possibility of the accusation of wrongdoing.” For me, here, though, what is most annoying is the alleged decision by the concessionaire to lease mining equipment from Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, proprietor of the infamous Engineers and Planners firm, who is also the younger brother of former President John Dramani Mahama. You would think that with all the EOCO-provided evidence linking Mr. Ibrahim Mahama to legion attempts at scamming the government and the Ghanaian taxpayer, with the express and explicit complicity of the former President, that Mr. Ibrahim Mahama would since long have been permanently banned from engaging in any mining activities in the country.

Now, I don’t know the criteria for awarding mining concessions to companies in the country, but it well appears to me that if the applicant, namely, Exton Cubic Group Limited were that prepared to enter the mining business, they ought to have been expected to own their own mining equipment, rather than renting the same from a mean-spirited, greedy and a pathological scofflaw like Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, whose dastardly shenanigans, with the brazen complicity of former President Mahama, may very well have considerably contributed to the collapse of the UT and Capital banks, among a plethora of other Ghanaian-owned banks in the country recently. Indeed, for all that anybody cares or could imagine, the Exton Cubic Group Limited could well be fronting for Mr. Ibrahim Mahama. Does President Akufo-Addo want his government to be perceived as being criminally complicit in the cutthroat shenanigans of the Mahama Brothers?

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.