NPP Director Calls on Former President Mahama to Provide Information on NDC Galamsey Supporters
Richard Ahiagbah, the Director of Communications for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), has called on former President John Dramani Mahama to provide information on National Democratic Congress (NDC) members who engage in illegal small-scale mining, also known as galamsey, and had their equipment confiscated.
This comes after Mahama claimed that the current government has been harassing NDC supporters who engage in galamsey while allowing NPP supporters to engage in the practice without consequences. Ahiagbah refuted these accusations and stated that the Akufo-Addo government has made strides in its fight against galamsey.
During an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM, Ahiagbah said that Mahama should be patriotic enough to help the police bring such persons to book.
“When the president took control of the fight against galamsey, he engaged everyone because it is an open fight he was leading and there was no secret about it, and I call others to come on board and disregard the comments of the former president,” said Ahiagbah.
“If the former president knows anyone engaging in galamsey, he should tell us because all of us are united in the fight against galamsey. But we want to know the NDC supporters he said are engaged in galamsey, so they can be prosecuted for endangering our future.”
Ahiagbah further stressed that it was important for everyone to be interested in what the former president was saying because it is revealing that there are NDC people who are engaging in galamsey, and he knows them and encourages them to keep doing it, but they are now disappointed because the fight against galamsey is successful.
He added that the government’s fight against galamsey has been relatively successful and appealed for a collective effort and collaboration of the public to keep it going.
“The Lands Minister is busy reclaiming galamsey lands and the fight against galamsey is ongoing, and we all have to make efforts to help make the fight a success,” said Ahiagbah.
Galamsey, the practice of illegally mining for gold or other minerals, has been a major issue in Ghana in recent years. The practice has caused widespread environmental damage, including deforestation, water pollution, and land degradation. It has also been linked to human rights abuses, including child labor and modern-day slavery.
The Akufo-Addo government has been committed to cracking down on galamsey since taking office in 2017. In 2019, the government launched Operation Vanguard, a joint military-police task force aimed at ending illegal mining. The government has also introduced new regulations and penalties to deter illegal mining, including a three-year ban on small-scale mining in certain areas.
Despite these efforts, galamsey continues to be a major problem in Ghana. The government estimates that there are over one million small-scale miners in the country, with only a small fraction of them operating legally.