President Akufo-Addo in a handshake with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
President Akufo-Addo has stated that his government is ready to stamp out illegal mining activities, popularly known as galamsey, noting that the issue is the talk of the town, even among traditional leaders.
According to him, galamsey is one issue that has generated negative public criticism for his government, intimating that it, however, has attracted less public discussion before his tenure.
“This means the issue is common and calls for all hands on deck to bring it to an end,” he stated, while speaking at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi at the start of a four-day tour of the Ashanti Region.
“We are here to eradicate galamsey and surely, it will be eradicated,” the President assured, and indicated that “no government has shown that resilience in the fight against galamsey.”
President Akufo-Addo is in the region to inspect ongoing government projects and commission some completed ones, including the Boankra Island Port, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital’s Mother and Baby Unit, and the Court of Appeal judges’ accommodation.
He is also expected to cut sod for the Agenda 111 hospital project at Kokoben near Appiadu, and the Suame Interchange project.
He debunked claims by opponents that he has abandoned the Ashanti Region, which happens to be the traditional stronghold of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The President stated that his government had constructed 400-kilometre asphalted roads and was in the process of undertaking 32 monumental health projects in the region.
Arrest Big Men Financing Galamsey
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who welcomed the President to the region, urged him to arrest and investigate the ‘big people’ financing the galamsey operations.
According to him, this is the only way to clamp down the menace, pointing out that several young people have been arrested at mining concessions yet galamsey activities persist.
“We have heard a number of reports indicating the arrest of some illegal miners in the country, yet the menace still persists. This galamsey can only be stopped when the financiers are apprehended,” the king stressed.
Otumfuo asked his chiefs to help save the river bodies and the rich forest in their localities by playing a leading role in the fight against galamsey.
“Some of the issues that have come up suggest we are a part of the problem. Some of you, these very galamsey people come to your homes to give you money. Some of you get money,” the Asantehene asserted.
From I.F Joe Awuah, Kumasi