President Nana Akufo-Addo says Ghana will continue to have a cordial relationship with the Chinese but the country will ensure full enforcement of law and order without fear or favour towards any country or group of people.
He said Ghana, as a country does not hate the Chinese, nonetheless the laws governing foreign nationals in trade and business will be applied to the letter.
Speaking at the coronation ceremony of the chief of Kwahu Obomeng Nana Effah Opinamang III and durbar to mark the Kwahu Easter festivity, the President said his administration will continue to find lasting solutions to illegal mining popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’ menace.
Recently, a letter purportedly written by authorities of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana impressed upon government to guide the media in their criticism of Chinese nationals in the galamsey business.
The letter addressed to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources by officials of the Chinese mission, also conveyed the concerns of the Chinese with the new campaign against galamsey which it said could derail bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The officials also pointed to a cartoon in the media which they say defamed their president and the Ambassador.
Their petition to the Ministry comes off the back of a relentless campaign by the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government, civil society groups and the media against illegal mining which has destroyed Ghana’s environment.
A media coalition against galamsey has been vociferous in fighting the menace. Considerable airtime, space has been given to discussing the issue with a view to solving the problem.
The government also made fighting galamsey a campaign issue and has made some commitment thus far.
Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu has already given a three-week ultimatum for the illegal miners, many of whom are Chinese, to vacate the lands.
In his speech, the President reiterated that just like the law works for everyone in China irrespective of status, so will it be in Ghana.
He said all Ghanaians are happy to hear him speak about galamsey because of its devasting nature and urged all Ghanaians to unite and fight it to save the country’s future.
President Akufo-Addo was emphatic measures will be put in place to find meaningful employment for the youth in galamsey adding the new government policy to “deal with this problem once and for al in the history of our country” will soon be released.
Also, he promised that government will come out with a cattle ranching policy to deal with the herdsmen issue in the area.