'Visit Nkroful galamsey site too' - Ellembelle NDC to Akufo-Addo

Mr. Kwesi Hanson NDC Communications Officer of the party, Mr. Kwesi Hanson addressing the press conference

Tue, 18 Aug 2020 Source: Daniel Kaku, Contributor

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ellembelle Constituency of the Western Region, is urging President Akufo-Addo to visit the illegal mining (galamsey) site at Nkroful, the birthplace of the first President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, to see how the land is being devastated.

President Akufo-Addo is expected to visit the Ellembelle Constituency on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, to inspect the ongoing construction of Esiama to Nkroful road and cut sod for Teleku-Bokazo to Menzezor deplorable road and also cut sod for some township roads in the area.

Meanwhile, many residents in the area had already called on the President Akufo-Addo to use the opportunity to visit Nkroful and see how some Galamseyers are destroying the only source of drinking water in the area as a result of illegal mining activities in the area.

According to them, illegal mining has resurrected at Nkroful, birth and burial place of Ghana's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah which has become a tourist site with the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum, Nkrumah motel, state burial of Dr Kwame Nkrumah's mother Maame Nyaniba, the mythical take of the Subre River.

Upon assumption of office, President Akufo-Addo declared war on illegal mining activities whether by locals or foreigners to save the environment from devastation.

President Akufo-Addo, set up Operation Vanguard to monitor the activities of galamsey across Ashanti, Central, Eastern, Western North and Western Regions.

Addressing the media at the party's office at Nzema Aiyinasi on Monday, August, 17, 2020, the Communications Officer of the party, Mr. Kwesi Hanson expressed disappointment in the President for failing to promise the good people of Ellembelle that he would visit the Nkroful galamsey site to see what is happening there.

Mr. Kwesi Hanson, therefore took the opportunity to urge President Akufo-Addo and his entourage to visit the galamsey site at Nkroful to see things by himself.

"Our attention has been drawn to a statement issued by the Ellembelle District Assembly to the effect that the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo Addo, will be visiting the people Ellembelle to inspect construction work on the road linking Esiama to Nkroful, the District Capital of Ellembelle, and commission a 12-classroom block at the Nkroful Agricultural SHS campus", he stated.

"...the president is on record as having pledged, on several occasions, to outlaw illegal mining - also known as Galamsey - from the country. It is in fulfillment of this pledge, that he placed a ban on illegal mining and ordered the arrest of small scale miners operating illegally in several parts of the country. It is in the same vein, that he ordered the seizure of excavators and affiliated machinery, which were being used in such illegal mining operations", he stressed.

"Coincidentally, the Nkroful Township used to be a very active site for illegal mining operations, until the ban. As a result, Nkroful and the surrounding settlements, have suffered from irreversible environmental degradation.

It is worthy to note that, shortly after the imposition of the ban on illegal mining by the president, the residents of Nkroful noticed signs of the return of Galamsey in the locality. Vast portions of the surrounding landscape, including areas that were very close to the school campus, suffered massive devastation from the renewed Galamsey activities, to such an extent that even parts of the NASS school campus itself, were not spared the destruction", he bemoaned.

Mr. Kwesi Hanson claimed that the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area Mr Kwasi Bonzoh is involved in the activities.

He backed by his claim by an interview the Ellembelle NPP Constituency Chairman Mr. Samuel Akainyah conducted on some radio stations in the area that the DCE was doing galamsey at Nkroful enclave.

"It later turned out that, the Chief Executive of Ellembelle District, Hon. Kwasi Bonzoh, himself a native of the community and an old student of the school, was actively involved in the renewed illegal mining activities.

Indeed, the Ellembelle Constituency Chairman of the NPP, Hon Samuel Akainyah, a.k.a Atito, raised concerns over the DCE's active involvement in Galamsey and even compared him to the Coronavirus. This is a fact that can be confirmed from a radio interview he granted and which is a record that anybody can verify!"

He is, therefore, urging President Akufo-Addo to investigate the DCE for disregarding his orders by involving himself into illegal mining activities in the area.

"Considering that, many illegal miners have either lost their livelihoods because of the ban, or have been thrown in jail for flouting it, we believe His Excellency the President, should investigate this case of blatant disregard for presidential orders by Hon Bonzoh - who is incidentally the local representative of the presidency - and take punitive action against what is a clear case of conflict of interest.

We believe that any action short of that would belittle the honour associated with the commissioning of the new classroom block", he said.

On One District, One Factory Policy, the NDC Constituency Communications Officer told the media that on December 13, 2019, President Akufo-Addo told the whole world that his government had established a coconut oil processing factory in Ellembelle.

According to him, the president lied to the whole world adding that there is no such a factory located in Ellembelle District.

He is humbly urging the President to send the media to that factory in Ellembelle District when he visits Ellembelle on Tuesday.

"At the meet the Press encounter organized on Friday 13th December, 2019, the President peddled highly a mischievous falsehood when He indicate that a coconut oil processing factory has been established in Ellembelle and that over 1,600 jobs has been created for the people of Ellembelle", he recalled.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the Feanza industrial in the Ellembelle district captured in the president list of factories under one District one factory policy was misplaced and false", he stated.

He continued that, "Unfortunately the president in his frustration and pretense to let Ghanaians know that he has fulfilled in 1D 1F promise, smuggle in Feanza industrial as one of the factories he has established and that over 1,600 jobs has been created. This is false and a direct insult to the people of Ellembelle. The unemployment situation has been on the ascendency since this government (NPP) took over".

"It quite outrageous and absurd if not shameful for the president to peddle such falsehood about job creation when the people have been impoverished by his stewardship", he fired.

Mr. Kwesi Hanson took the opportunity to task the media to verify from the good people of Ellembelle if indeed the President had established a factory in the area or not.

"Friends of the media, you can verify from the good people of Ellembelle and the management of Feanza industrial and to attest to the truth that government has never establish any company in Ellembelle district, neither has government provided any financial to feanza industrial which has been in existence for Ten (10) years before Nana Addo became president", he emphasized.

He quizzed that, “Government has not given me any money. How come my factory has been selected as 1D 1F when Food and Drugs Authority has threatened to close down my factory? How is this possible when the FDA say I am producing poisonous coconut oil product?"

"How is this possible when someone in your government is preventing the coconut agent from selling the coconut to my factory because he believes I do not belong to the NPP? I have to import oil for my product as a result of this”. These are the statement coming from the management of Feanza industrial", he added.

He wondered, "Is it not surprising and so interesting that the President did not include the commissioning of said established factory (Feanza Oil industrial) in his itinerary which is along the same road linking Esiama to Nkroful".

He challenged the President that, "We would like to bring to the attention of the president that if it is indeed the fact that he has established the said factory, he must commission it".

"In the wake of this development we want the government to come again on the establishment of Coconut oil factory, published the names of the over 1,600 people he falsely claimed has been employed and the income taxes accrued as a result of the employment", he added.

He is, however, calling on the President to render an unqualified apology to the good people of Ellembelle for 'lying' that he had established a One District, One Factory in the area.

He is also calling on the Nzema Manle Council to urge the President to apologise to the good people of Ellembelle District.

"We forcefully submit that the president, Nana Akufo Addo lied to the people of Ghana and as a matter of urgency should come out and render an unqualified apology to the people of Ellembelle and Nzemamaanle Traditional Council.

We also call on the council of state to sit the president down and advise Him to desist from such behaviour which denigrates the Presidency", he concluded.

Source: Daniel Kaku, Contributor