Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
It has emerged that claims by former President John Dramani Mahama that he showed leadership in the fight against illegal mining by deporting about 5,000 Chinese nationals are false.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, in a data shared from the Ghana Immigration Service, indicated that only 1,641 Chinese nationals were repatriated from Ghana between January 2009 and 2022.
In 2009, nine Chinese nationals were deported as against 43, while the year 2011 recorded no repatriation.
For 2012, contrary to the master narrative, the data showed that 130 Chinese nationals were deported, whereas 713 others were repatriated in 2013, and some 74 were repatriated in 2014.
In 2015, Chinese nationals repatriated from the country were 21, and 28 others were again deported in 2016, all totaling 1,018 for the eight-year period for Mills-Mahama administration.
Per the data, 36 Chinese nationals were deported in 2017, whilst 160 Chinese were repatriated in 2018 and 376 others in 2019.
The year 2020 witnessed repatriation of 28 Chinese, and 2021 and 2022 recorded 11 and 12 respectively, bringing the total to 623 Chinese repatriated in the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia era.
The 2020 NDC presidential candidate had stated in an interview with TV3 on Monday he was decisive in fighting against the galamsey menace, repatriating some 5,000 Chinese nationals who were involved in the act.
“We have the relationship with Chinese, but if you are a Ghanaian and you go to China and get engaged in illegality, they don’t say because of the good relation we have with Ghana, they are going to let you go scot-free. You will face the full rigorous of the law in China.
“I don’t doubt that there are some of our people in jail in China,” he noted.
“When I became President, I was faced with the same illegal gold mining, I deported almost 5,000 Chinese illegal miners. I didn’t say because of the good relations we have with China; we should allow them to continue to engage in this illicit activity,” he submitted.
According to him, his government collaborated with the Chinese Embassy, which came to take their nationals away, pointing out that this did not destroy Ghana’s relationship with China.
He accused President Akufo-Addo of lacking the political will to deal with the illegal mining activities, indicating “his own people have been found to be the ones engaged [in galamsey]; all their party executives have concessions and are doing illegal mining in forest reserves.”
By Ernest Kofi Adu