The 2020 Presidential Candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama, has unveiled plans that he has for illegal gold miners and small scale mining sector, saying he will not hound illegal miners, but will organize them and regularize their activities under guardian laws.
Ex-President Mahama’s is making this latest promise despite much-criticised failure to effectively tackle the Galamsey menace after he inaugurated an inter-ministerial taskforce to fight against illegal small scale mining.
The taskforce consisting of security agents terrorised illegal mining sites and burned several of the notorious excavators deployed to illegally dig the earth in search of gold.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has strongly criticised the galamsey fight of Mr. Mahama, even though the NPP itself is experiencing the exact same failures in the Galamsey fight.
Ex-President Mahama is claiming that this time if he wins the December Presidential elections, he will not abuse illegal miners with soldiers again, but will organize all such miners into cooperatives.
Mr. Mahama made the promise at the Manhyia Palace where he had gone to meet and introduce his Running Mate, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, to Otumfuor Osei Tutu ll, Overlord of Ashanti.
“Nana, we will monitor and ensure that small scale mining is done well to save the environment while opening the gate for a lot of job opportunities for our youth in the mining sector,” the former President said in Twi.
He added, “We don’t have to abuse people with soldiers because they want to fend for their families. We only need laws to regulate that kind of mining in the country because when we do that well, it will create wealth for our youth.”
The former President also hinted that he will introduce a task force and Mining Safety Officers as part of superior management of ‘galamsey’ in the country.
The former President’s promise comes in the wake of the monumental failure of the current government’s anti-galamsey fight.
Operation Vanguard, which entailed the detailing of a combined team of Police and soldiers to illegal mining sites after it had been launched in 2017, but has been recalled following the massive corruption unearthed between the Taskforce and government officials.
The nature of the corruption was that soldiers were receiving bribes and allowing galamsey operations to be undertaken by the highest bidder.
At the Ministerial level, sector Minister, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng who heads the inter-ministerial taskforce against galamsey in the current government, had become the kingpin of illegal mine distribution, after he was caught on secret video allocating galamsey mines seized from ordinary citizens to members of ruling party, the NPP.
In a particularly revealing video, Prof. Frimpong Boateng is heard admitting that he reallocated some galamsey mines and seized excavators to party people so that they can use illegal mining to raise money for Akufo-Addo’s re-election campaign.
Also, a top man in the anti galamsey set up, Charles Cromwell Bissiw, ad been caught in a secret video recording, receiving bribes from undercover journalists in exchange for awarding mining licenses to unregistered companies.