The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has assured the nation that his government would not shield persons found culpable in the missing excavators.
At least six persons have been arrested and being investigated by the police CID following a complaint lodged by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
The minister who is the chairman of the anti-galamsey taskforce is reported to have said that over 300 seized excavators have gone missing.
Delivering his fourth State of the Nation Address to a one-sided Parliament after a Minority boycott on Thursday, February 20, 2020 President Akufo-Addo stated that a number of equipment belonging to illegal miners were seized by the Operation Vanguard” team.
He mentioned the seizure of about 12,000 chanfan machines which were “destroyed on site”.
Without giving numbers, President Akufo-Addo confirmed that some of the excavators seized by the team have gone missing but was certain the perpetrators would be punished.
“No one involved would be shielded, no matter their position or political colour,” he stressed.
Contrary to claims by some civil society and the opposition NDC that government’s fight against galamsey has failed, the president said Operation vanguard has been a success.
He recalled that prior to his assumption in office, activities of illegal miners were “rampant” in many parts of the country.
For instance, the forest was being depleted and environment being degraded, he said, adding the NDC then in government “gave up the fight” against galamsey.
Having put his presidency on the line, Nana Akufo-Addo urged stakeholders in the fight not to give up because the government would “not weaken its stand”.
“Operation vanguard has been largely successful even though problems still remain; mining with impunity on water bodies and in forest reserves has declined,” he pointed out.
He said about 4000 miners have been trained in sustainable mining as well as the rate at which people die in collapsed mines has reduced by 90%.
By Isaac Essel | 3news.com