Pressure group, OccupyGhana has taken offence at President Akufo-Addo’s admission that upon second thought, he believes that his government had made a mistake by deporting notorious Chinese illegal miner, Aisha Huang.
In a statement, the group said that the President’s admission is proof that the government had insulted the intelligence of the people when it was providing cover stories as reasons for the deportation.
“…the matter involving Aisha Huang and the Government’s handling of it beggars belief, insults our intelligence, contradicts the President’s numerous pledges to fight Galamsey, and is probably the most obvious indicator that the Government’s commitment to the anti-Galamsey fight has been at best half-hearted,” OccupyGhana’s statement said.
President Akufo-Addo last week admitted at a program in the US that with the benefit of hindsight, he realizes that the decision to deport Aisha Huang, rather than prosecute her for illegal mining was a poor one.
“I think the decision to deport Aisha Huang in hindsight was a mistake and that is why that process and procedure is being stopped,” President Akufo-Addo said.
”This “on hindsight mistake” has been a rather unfortunate, deflating and regrettable phase in the fight against Galamsey and a slap in the face of Ghanaians. We expect that all subsequent acts will match the realisation of the titanic mistake we made with Aisha Huang and more recently with Huang Yanfeng. We will judge the Government in this matter, not based in its words and assurances based on hindsight, but on its acts that are based on foresight. Let the Government beget fruits that befit the repentance of the “on hindsight mistake,” Occupy Ghana demanded.
OccupyGhana notes that among the cantankerous justifications, a Presidential Staffer, Charles Cromwell Bissue, had said that the government deported Aisha Huang so as to not waste taxpayer money on prosecuting her.
It also notes that, Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, later came out with the explanation that the government did so because it did not want to spoil bilateral relations with China.
The group, however, said it was happy with the ultimate candor of President Akufo-Addo over the Aisha Huang deportation issue, but added it did not believe that the President’s assurance that such incidence will not be tolerated any longer, is reliable.
In July 2019 Huang Yanfeng, another Chinese national who was arrested in May 2019 for illegal timber operations, was also quietly deported, reminiscent of a pattern in dealing with foreign nationals who defy our laws regulating natural resources.