Member of Parliament for Ekumfi, Francis Kingsley Ato Codjoe has stated that seized excavators under the custody of the state started getting missing before the Akufo-Addo-led government assumed office.
He is therefore demanding that the opposing National Democratic Congress (NDC) also account for excavators that went missing under their administration.
“We had excavators missing in this country before the president took over,” Mr. Ato Codjoe who is also the Deputy Minister for Fisheries said on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday.
“The excavators that were seized under NDC regime nobody has told us where those excavators are,” he asserted, suggesting seized excavators were not part of the notes the previous administration handed over to the team in charge of the galamsey operation.
The issue of missing excavators has been making headlines for the past few weeks, after the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng announced that over 300 excavators seized by Operation Vanguard are missing.
Some, including civil society groups and the NDC, have assessed that the fight against illegal mining (galamsey) has failed.
But Mr. Francis Ato Codjoe wants the public to blame the military for failing the president and the country in the fight against galamsey.
“We should be concerned about the military people. Recently there was a report that one military commander has turned this galamsey thing into a goldmine…that our own military people whom we pride ourselves in them should now be involved in taking money and denying us this fight to restore the environment.”
In a statement read on the floor of Parliament, Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini argued the president who put his presidency on the line in the fight must assure Ghanaians that resources have not been wasted on the exercise.
But his colleague, Codjoe, though conceded government has “not achieved 100 percent success” in its bid to rid the country of galamsey, President Akufo-Addo ought to be commended for his commitment to the cause.
“Praise the president for taking action against persons involved in the missing excavators,” he said, adding it is rather the military that has “disappointed us”.
He stated, for instance, “Galamstop has stopped people from dying in galamsey pits, as was in the past”.
By Isaac Essel | 3news.com