The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah says former President John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) capitalized on illegal small scale mining (Galamsey) issues for votes in the 2020 general elections.
Accoridng to him, that was not patriotism but partisanship on the part of the former President.
In a tweet, Mr Braimah said “Ahead of the 2020 election, former President Mahama and his NDC party, exploited the Galamsey issue for votes.
“That was not patriotism, it was partisanship. The Galamsey fight needs the commitment of all.”
He therefore asked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to hold his appointees responsible for the increasing rate of galamsey.
“You are the President. All of Ghana’s gold is entrusted to you. You appointed all the people in charge of lands, minerals, forests, regions, districts etc. Everything is being destroyed yet all your appointees are intact. You want us to believe you’re fighting Galamsey? NO,” he said.
Prior to the 2020 elections, it will be recalled that Mr Mahama who was the NDC’s Presidential Candidate promised to free all illegal miners who were jailed under the Akufo-Addo government, if he was voted.
He said this when he addressed the chiefs and people of Odum Banso in the Western Region in the campaign season.
“It’s sad. The government said it was fighting galamsey, and they arrested, prosecuted, and jailed Ghanaians who were engaged in that activity but left the Chinese woman [Aisha Huang],” he noted.
“Today, they are still in prison. That Chinese galamsey queen was arrested but left to go free. She was never prosecuted but our people are in jail suffering. When we come, we shall grant all those arrested and jailed some amnesty.
“They will come back to their homes and work. I believe that they have suffered enough, shown remorse for whatever wrong they committed. We will institute measures to check the operations of small scale mining.”
Recently, President Akufo-Addo narrated how his fight against Galamsey cost him and his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) significant losses in the 2020 general elections especially in the mining areas.
This, he said, shows that the commitment he made to put his presidency on the line in the fight against galamsey was not a reckless statement.
Speaking during a meeting with the National House of Chiefs and some Municipal Metropolitan and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in Kumasi on Wednesday October 5, he said “Since I took office I have made it a central feature of my presidency to lead in the efforts to rid our country of this menace which we all now call galamsey. It has not been popular and we have not got the result that I was looking for.
“Indeed, in the last elections of 2020 my stance on the issue cost my party and I significant losses in the mining communities, it turned out that my statement that I was putting my presidency on the line in the fight against galamsey was neither bombast or recklessness. It was the simple truth.”
By Vincent Kubi