Deputy National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress(NDC) Eric Edem Agbana, has charged the Akufo-Addo-led government to prosecute top party members of the New Patriotic Party(NPP) to serve as a deterrence in ending the crusade against illegal small-scale mining(galamsey) in the country.
According to the deputy National Youth Organizer, the willingness by the President to punish the "kingpins" involved in galamsey will be a step in the right direction rather than reassigning those party "kingpins" to different portfolios within the same government.
He made this pronouncement in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on the New Day show on TV3, Thursday, May 27.
Mr. Agbana was speaking on the back of the burning of excavators used in galamsey without any arrests and prosecutions of the financiers and the enablers of the canker.
"There is a reason why punishments are important, if I come to TV3 and I'm your employer and I say that the way you handle your morning show is not to my satisfaction and I just move you from here to another station, it is not enough punishment. Punishment must be meted out, why are you moving those people? We have NPP executives mentioning on live TV that some directors at the Minerals Commission are also engaged in this galamsey.
"You only move the people away and bring a new set of people, when they come they get so comfortable because they will say after all government may change, I may even leave here. If you don't punish people, there is no way people will be deterred in this act of galamsey. Punish the kingpins, arrest them and prosecute them, if not we are worried because by 2030 the reports I'm reading suggest that by 2030, if the trend today does not change Ghana is likely to be importing potable water.
"Water to drink will be imported because we are destroying all our water bodies because of galamsey. And so President Akufo-Addo is good at the slogans, every platform that he gets, he is pretending to be calling Ghanaians to join him in the fight against galamsey. Meanwhile, when there was even video evidence to show that his people were aiding and abetting in this illegal mining scheme, what did he do? He cleared them" he charged.
Mr. Agbana went on to allege that "the whole thing is that government is on an agenda again, they have lost the fight, they never engaged in it in the first place. So they are pretending to be burning excavators whilst they are allowing, and they know, recently I saw a picture of some of the government ministers visiting galamsey sites in the name of monitoring and all that and I said that some of those people, some of them are engaged in illegal mining. A few weeks ago, I alleged on a sister station of yours that a particular national executive of the NPP has hundreds of excavators on site engaging in the act of galamsey, they came out that it's not true and all of that.
"In this burning exercise her machines were burnt, they know themselves. I, through political activities, will go to Eastern Region, some part of Western Region and the locals know, they will point it out to you that this belongs to this minister, this concession belongs to this NPP executive. The people know who are the cause of the problem but you see, again this is more like a class fight where the ordinary Ghanaian who is poor and does not have a voice, their machines will be seized and burnt then they put up a certain costume fight of a sought when the real problem exist. The problem is that the excavators, just like other people have said in the past, don't have a mind of their own, they cannot move to the sites by themselves and I think that it is people that operate, people that own these concessions.
"In fact, even the local galamseyers, many of them are not the owners of the concessions, people own the concessions, engage them and pay them for the work that they do. Now go into it, investigate, get the people who are behind these people, who brought in these excavators? Who is using them to engage in galamsey? Arrest and prosecute them. That is the solution, the solution is not in burning these excavators", he stressed to Mr. Hughes.