The National Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, said the burning of excavator employed by the Akufo-Addo-led government to fight galamsey is not punitive enough to deter others from engaging in the act.
Mr Gyamfi said until the real culprits behind illegal mining are arrested, the fight will continue to be an exercise in futility, he said on TV3 New Day on June 8.
“Ordinary Ghanaians have been arrested, some of them have been assaulted, mining equipment have been burnt for the cameras. But some of us have maintained that until this government actually traces the real kingpins behind this illegal mining menace, arrest them, prosecute them and jail them as prescribed under our Minerals and Mining law… we are going nowhere with this illegal mining”.
According to him, the burning the excavators is not the best way to find the culprits involved in illegal mining.
“The people you see at those mining sites are not the owners of the concession, they can’t afford an excavator, so the real kingpin sits in Accra or wherever he may be, pumps money into the business. These casual workers will work and then they come and give him the money. So if you just arrest them; these casual workers who don’t own the concession”, he added.
Sammy Gyamfi added that the boldest way to overcome illegal mining is tackling the issue with the most sincerity and convicting the masters involved in the act.
According to him, the NDC can only point out the truth and make recommendations to the government.
“By making recommendations, at the end of the day the buck stops with the president. He is the one to choose whether he’s going to approach this fight with sincerity and with the needed genuine political will, arrest and punish those engaging in it no matter or regardless of their political or social background. If NDC people are caught deal with them, if NPP people are the ones polluting our water bodies deal with them. We cannot allow a few greedy politicians, a few greedy individuals in this country to destroy our water bodies, our forest reserves, our environment in pursuit for money”.
Sammy Gyamfi added that the most effective measure for the fight against illegal mining is convictions of the kingpins involved.
“Arrest the people, trace the real kingpins, prosecute them, jail them for a period of minimum fifteen years’ maximum twenty-five years and you will stop this illegal mining”.
By Belinda Worwornyo|3news.com|Ghana