Akwasi Addai Odike, leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) says he strongly suspects that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was covertly benefitting from illegal small-scale mining activities (galamsey)in the country.
According to him, the haphazard nature of the government’s fight against galamsey – the local name for illegal small-scale mining – left too much to be desired.
“I am beginning to suspect that the president has a galamsey rep who brings him gold to the Flagstaff house,” Odike said on Accra-based Happy FM’s late afternoon talk show on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.
He had earlier alleged that the president remained clueless about the impact of the galamsey menace adding: “My friend, I’m in the Ashanti Region, and I’m going to the Western Region, it is these same ministers that are engaged in galamsey.”
When the host pushed him over claims that the president could possibly have mining concessions, he added: “If he claims to have put his presidency on the line and with the persistence of galamsey, why did he not resign as president?
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“Let me tell you, Akufo-Addo is not serious to fight galamsey, he has an interest in it. It is the European Union threat to ban our cocoa that has triggered his recent reaction which is in itself wrong – i.e. to deploy soldiers against civilians, it is wrong.”
Asked about his proposed solution on the galamsey menace, he asked the government to suspend all licences for surface mining and follow it with vigorous land reclamation before a policy review is undertaken.
He asks that licences should be decentralized to the district level so that monitoring of the activities of licensed miners would be effectively controlled and policed.
The Ministry of Information this week announced that 200 soldiers had been deployed to remove all illegal miners and their machines on Ghana’s water bodies.
The move comes weeks after a national dialogue on galamsey was held with multiple stakeholders coming together to profer immediate solutions.
The dialogue was under the auspices of the Forestry Commission with strong involvement of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources led by Minister Samuel Abu Jinapor, who has vowed to bring an end to the galamsey menace.