Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has been a subject of ridicule for issuing a statement that would essentially allow illegal miners in the Ankobrah river to cover their tracks in advance of the deployment of soldiers to destroy their illegal mines.
On May 27, 2021, Mr. Opponhg-Nkrumah issued a statement saying: “The Ghana Armed Forces has commenced the fourth phase of Operation Halt II aimed at removing all persons and logistics involved in mining from water bodies. The new phase of the operations focuses on the Ankobrah River and tributaries. The operation is being undertaken by four hundred and one men of all ranks.”
Since the statement, critics have noted how curiously it sounded like a subtle snitch on the operations to allow the illegal miners “Galamsey” to escape the scene of their destruction with their heavy earthmoving equipment.
Particularly, when these miners know that the soldiers in the first three operations have arrested illegal miners and burnt their expensive mining excavators.
It is unclear if any illegal miner around the Ankobrah River would be audacious enough to when the soldiers come calling in a few days, thanks to the heads-up given by the Information Minister.
The statement from Oppong Nkrumah has been parodied widely on social media in an anti-galamsey fight that critics have described as a sham.
Samson Lardi Ayenini, a radio presenter and lawyer was part of those who parodied the Information Minister, saying his statement should have read: “Dear Criminals destroying our water bodies and forest reserves, 401 well-fed soldiers armed to the teeth are coming for you at Ankobrah. We beg you, run. GoG.”
Others have said similar things about the statement from the Minister. Others think it was all part of the charade of deception by the Akufo Addo administration in the fight against Galamsey, particularly when several members of the ruling party and appointees of the government have been fingered for operating illegal mines.