Some illegal miners in Akwatia in the Eastern Region have cautioned the President to halt his fight against illegal mining known as galamsey or risk losing the 2020 elections.
The miners told Joy News government’s attempt to disrupt their activities will send them into poverty because they depend on the mining to meet their needs and that of their families.
They say President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will leave them with no option than to vote him out if he stopped their activities.
“Does the Lands Minister [Peter Amewu] want us to sit home?” one miner said. “I have sat home for eight years and we want to make money because our government is in power but they want to stop us.”
“If they stop us, we will also vote against the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP),” he added.
Another appealed to the President to allow them to continue with their mining since their work help to boost the economy.
“We are begging Nana Akufo-Addo, we are hungry,” he said, adding “we are hungry.”
The comments of the miners come at a time there is pressure on government to stop the practice that is polluting the country’s water bodies.
A coalition of media houses against galamsey has been launched to press government to do more to end the menace.
The Lands Minister has given the illegal miners 3-weeks to end their activities or be prosecuted if they are apprehended. The ultimatum is expected to expire next week.
Lands Minister John Peter Amewu
He has also suggested equipment used by the miners should be blown up if they are arrested.
The President has also commissioned a committee to draft a document that will help government fight the issue.
But the illegal miners said they will vote out President Akufo-Addo if their activities are stopped.
One of the illegal miners who identified himself as Kwame Boani said they voted for the President because they believed he will allow them to make money off their work.
“There is no work in this town…the mining is what we rely on but if they stop us we will vote them out,” he said.