The Minister for Defense, Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul, was reported to have given an assurance to the Ghanaian populace that the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) was prepared to counter terrorist threats on the State.
He also added that the Forces were determined to exercise their constitutional mandate of securing the territorial integrity, sovereignty, peace and security of Ghana.
Although The Chronicle does not doubt the capabilities and abilities of the Army as a strong force to reckon with, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has asked a rhetorical question that must be a bother to all Ghanaians.
The Asantehene has questioned why the country’s security apparatus are failing in the fight against illegal mining, also known as galamsey, as the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dappah, is looking for about GH¢11 billion to purchase weapons and light ammunition to fight terrorism.
The Chronicle is far from imagining Ghana being declared a utopian state. However, the paper is challenged by how the security agencies are failing in their quest to curb illegal mining activities, not to talk of terrorism.
It has been almost six years since Operation Vanguard, a Military-Police Joint Task Force (JTF) set up by the President of Ghana in 2017 to combat the operations of galamsey.
Suffice to say that failure on the part of the security agencies curb the activities of illegal miners has given rise to the galamseyers acquiring sophisticated weapons and exchanging gunfire with the Military-Police Joint Task Force.
These alleged incidents have been reported in mining regions of the country, and the most recent one happened at Kyebi Apapam and Asaman Tamfoe, all in the Eastern Region.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, some civilians were seen carrying pistols and pump action guns engaging in a fearsome gun battle with the security agencies.
The Ghana Police Service has said 16 persons had been arrested in connection with a shooting incident at Asaman Tamfoe and one pump action gun, two excavators, two water pumps and a battery were retrieved.
The Service added in a news release dated September 29, 2022, that efforts were underway to arrest the remaining suspects and retrieve any other weapons in their possession.
The Chronicle, once again, wants to find out whether those arrested are the real ring leaders or the big wigs financing the illegal mining operations.
We have observed that most times, after suspects are arrested at a galamsey site, new excavators appear on the site and people go back to work.
We believed that most of these suspects are labourers who can be replaced as and when the big wigs so wish.
It is our conviction that most of the suspects arrested by state security cannot even afford a wheelbarrow, not to talk of renting or procuring a heavy duty machine like an excavator, which is estimated between US$80,000.00 and US$150,000.00.
On this premise, the paper is urging our security agencies to prove their mettle by investigating, arresting, and prosecuting the financiers behind the galamsey activities.
As a nation, we cannot turn a blind eye on the havoc being caused by illegal mining on the environment and water bodies.
Recently, Kyebi was reported to have been inundated by the Birim River after a two-hour rainfall.
It was obvious that the forest reserves, which serve as water holding catchments, are being destroyed.
We must rise as a nation to tackle this galamsey menace head-on or live to face the irreparable consequences. A word to the wise is enough!Read Full Story