Prof. Kwesi Aning calls Akufo-Addo’s meeting with national house of chief useless

October 11, 2022

Security Analyst, Prof. Kwesi Aning, has said President Akufo-Addo’s meeting with the National House of Chiefs on galamsey activities in the country, would amount to nothing.

According to him, the state is incapable of resolving the illegal mining popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
“Ghana has become a state under siege – a beleaguered state in which there is a state within the state that is influencing the way policy relating to mining is made, understood or implemented.”

This comes as the body of the assistant headteacher of Mpatasie D/A primary in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region, Akwasi Anane, has been found.

The 47-year-old headteacher, who is reported to have gone to a galamsey site to work in the evening of Tuesday, 4 October 2022, could not be found after a pit collapsed on him.

Last week Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo, met with the National House of Chiefs and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives [MMDCEs] over the galamsey menace.

The meeting was to afford the President the opportunity to find other means of dealing with the problem, but Prof. Aning, believes the meeting by the President will have no impact on the fight against galamsey.

He noted that for many years now, the government’s utterances have not corresponded with actions taken, hence, the meeting was just a façade.

“I do not think it [the meeting] is going to have any impact at all because when you look across the spectrum of public action and public implementation, what is the nexus between public utterances and implementation? That correlation cannot be positive. So that meeting is a nice meeting that brought people together, they had opportunities for photoshoots and that is that. I am not expecting anything at all to come out,” he said on Newsfile, Saturday.

President Akufo-Add,o has vowed to deal with persons within his government who may be found complicit in illegal mining activities.

The President said the government has for several years been struggling with the fight against ‘galamsey’, hence government officials cannot continue to compromise efforts against the menace.

“I am not here to threaten anybody, but I want you to know that this is a struggle that I take very seriously and I will not be in a position to protect anybody against who evidence is massed up about their complicity in this matter…I am a lawyer and I always deal with facts and when the facts are brought against you, you will be invited to comment on them,” he told the Chiefs and MMDCEs during his meeting with them on October 5.

In the case of the assistant headteacher, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) had indicated that the headteacher was supervising galamsey activities at the site.

The portion of the pit where Mr Anane was standing caved in and all efforts to rescue him proved futile.

The headteacher’s body has since been deposited at the St Martin Hospital at Agroyesum, in the same region.
Meanwhile, UT Bank founder Prince Kofi Amoabeng, has said President Nana Akufo-Addo, is solely to blame for the persistence of the galamsey menace across the country.

In his view, stopping small-scale illegal mining is so easy to do as a president, since he wields so much power under the 1992 Constitution to do so.
However, Mr Amoabeng, said he suspects Mr Akufo-Addo is trying to use galamsey to please his party financiers, thus, festering the illegality across the country.

“Stopping galamsey is not a difficult thing”, Mr Amoabeng told Nana Otu Darko on CTV’s morning show Dwabre Mu on Tuesday, 4 October 2022.

He noted that the president has the armed forces, police, Ghana Revenue Authority and every power needed to fix the country and also stop galamsey.

“We’ve given him all the power as the commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and everything”, he stressed, adding: “Blame Akufo-Addo” for its prevalence.

“Use the law to fix the land. Use even the military. This is not difficult. I don’t see how stopping galamsey is
difficult. Just declare a two-week curfew in all galamsey areas, let the army use helicopters to mount surveillance on those areas and then put in the necessary measures to ensure galamsey is stopped”, the retired army officer suggested.

When it suggested to him that the illegality is festering because of the involvement of top guns, Mr Amoabeng retorted: “Which power supersedes the president’s to the extent that he can’t stop galamsey even if there are big shots involved?”

“The president has all the powers to stop galamsey and, so, if it doesn’t stop, don’t ask anybody; ask the president. Period! Apart from being the commander-in-chief, he appoints almost everybody and let the people you appoint be accountable and responsible”, he asserted.

He continued: “So, galamsey can be stopped so I don’t see any problem in stopping it. I don’t know [but] who is higher than the president?”

Mr Amoabeng thinks Mr Akufo-Addo is “trying to please” some people by letting galamsey fester.

“You see, one thing about Ghanaian politicians is that they are always thinking about votes and they are trying to, maybe, empower some special people who will make money and use the money to gain votes for them; I don’t get it because I’m not a politician but what I know is that, as the president, if you say, ‘I’ll stop galamsey’, he has everything to stop it. Why he hasn’t stopped it, I still don’t understand”, a bewildered Amoabeng said.

Meanwhile, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn, has faulted the government for its failure in winning the war waged against illegal small scale mining.

Speaking on The Big Issue on Citi FM/Citi TV said the setbacks government is facing in the fight are as a result of involvement of its own appointees in the illegal activity.

“When they [government] said stop galamsey and the government was very serious about that, I think ordinary people stopped but those people who were in high places and closer to the government were still doing it under the guise of the military. You cannot do these things and succeed. If your people are doing it with impunity, then that is a problem”, he said.

Dr. Tony Aubynn says a more collaborative effort with all stakeholders is needed to deal with the menace
“So we need a collective approach if the government is serious . It has to consult those who are indeed involved”, he advised.

Dr Aubynn was on his way out of the Minerals Commission, in 2017, just as the fight against illegal mining was kicking into gear.

But at that time, he was confident that illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as galamsey, had stopped in the country, following the intense media campaign and government action.

Under him, the government interdicted nine district mining officers of the Minerals Commission who were asked to proceed on indefinite leave, in May 2017.

The nine officers supervised mining activities in nine mining districts and were found to be negligent. The Lands and Natural resources Minister at the time, John Peter Amewu, said they were negligent, as they allowed illegal mining to continue in their respective areas.

On the same show, Kofi Adams, the Member of Parliament for Buem said the National Democratic Congress is the only political party that has what it takes to tackle Ghana’s hurdles in ending galamsey.

He insisted the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) renewed fight against the menace will amount to nothing adding that the Akufo-Addo has not shown any sign of seriousness in addressing galamsey which is currently appears to be one of the country’s major problems.

“This government has totally failed. It has no business talking about galamsey. They have no blueprint as to how to deal with the issue. The NDC still believes that a well, proper and regulated small-scale mining beyond what we have now is the way to go so that reclamation of land will follow.”

“The NPP has failed and we know that the NDC as a party will do better any day and time in terms of managing galamsey. The NDC will always do a better job.”

Written by Web Master

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