In what critics describe as another round of lip service to the illegal mining, aka Galamsey menace, the Akufo Addo administration has allegedly suspended mining activities in forest reserves.
In a statement released today, Thursday, April 22, 2021, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said the various Regional Security Councils are to strictly enforce the order.
“The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources hereby directs persons and/or companies engaged in reconnaissance and/or prospecting in Forest Reserves, with or without legal authorization, to suspend such activities until further notice…The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has further directed the Minerals Commission, with immediate effect, not to accept, process and/or recommend the grant, including the renewal and/or extension, of reconnaissance and prospecting licences in Forest Reserves,” the statement read.
But this is not the first time the Akufo Addo administration had used a paper tiger to threaten fire and brimstone against illegal miners. In 2017, President Akufo Addo had promised to resign if he failed the fight against illegal mining. Five years on, the President has refused to back his word with action and resigned after the galamsey fight failed woefully and his ministers and party executives were fingered as the main culprits in the illegal and destructive mining concessions across the country.
Shortly after getting sworn in in 2017, President Akufo Addo instituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining (IMCIM) and appointed Dr. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, the Minister of Environment and Science as the Chairman of the committee.
However, it soon emerged that members of the Committee itself were corrupt and had decided to use the committee to enrich themselves. Charles Cromwell Bissue, a Presidential Staffer who was on the Committee had been caught on video allegedly demanding bribe in exchange for awarding a mining license to an illegal mining company.
As for the Sector Minister, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, it soon came out to the public that he was seizing galamsey equipment, mines and gold and distributing them to family members, friends and party people.
He would deny the allegation however, a secretly recorded video in which he was caught confirming that he had turned over some galamsey mines over to NPP party folks so they can work and generate money to support the party sealed the notoriety of Prof. Frimpong Boateng as a galamsey kingpin.
Interestingly, it was under him that earth-moving equipment that had been seized from illegal miners had also curiously gone missing.