Former Minister for Science and Technology, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has to bare his teeth at some officials at the Jubilee House, the seat of government by accusing them of engaging in illegal mining popularly known as “Galamsey”.
Without mentioning names, according to him, the persons he is accusing allegedly orchestrated his exit from government following his fight against the illicit small scale mining trade, just to be able to go on with the illegal practice.
The former Minister speaking on Ghana Television narrated that “I don’t want to go into details now because I have a lot to say on that. Let me tell you that I did not take one excavator for anything, they know the truth. Now things are coming up, we know those who are behind it and the party people who are there, people in government including Jubilee House who are doing galamsey and so on, even now.
“So let Frimpong Boateng stay in his corner and enjoy his retirement,” he said when asked for his answer on the whereabouts of the 500 excavators that he announced were reportedly missing.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, since becoming President in 2017, has been attempting to fight galamsey.
It is recalled that he told the National House of Chiefs that the task to protect the lands and the environment from the effect of galamsey was a joint responsibility between the government and the traditional authorities.
President Akufo-Addo explained during a meeting with the Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, that 80 percent of the lands in Ghana are in the custody of the chiefs.
This meant that they had a role to play in protecting the resources, he said.
He said “80 percent of the lands in this country continue to be under your custody, much of it having been acquired through the blood and sacrifices of your ancestors. The remainder of 20 percent which I hold in the trust of the people of Ghana, is derived from state acquisition from you. What this means is that ultimately, the welfare of the state of the lands is our joint responsibility, although by statute the minerals in the soil belong to the president in trust for the people.”
The chiefs on their part assured President Akufo-Addo that they were solidly behind his administration to apply appropriate measures against all persons involved in Galamsey in the country.
President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi indicated that galamsey was hurting the environment and also threatened revenue mobilisation.
They have thefore resolved to support the President and government in fighting it.
He said “your relentless war against forest degradation and illegal mining in Ghana is of great importance to Ghanaians, especially we the chiefs.
“The effects of illegal mining on the environment threaten the survival of water bodies, farmlands, cocoa industry and even encouraging school dropouts, this undermines the revenue mobilsation drive in the country”.
“Given this development [the Chiefs] are solidly behind your administration to apply the appropriate sanctions against persons who are engaged in the practice of illegal mining irrespective of their status.”
BY Daniel Bampoe