The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu after touring some mining concessions in the Ashanti Region earlier in the week, claimed that some soldiers were protecting illegal gold mining concessions, especially in the Ashanti region.
He further accused some sections of the military high command of providing cover for illegal mining activities, popularly known as galamsey in some hard hit enclaves in the Ashanti region.
“The law enforcement agencies, especially the military are protecting an illegality, and I think its time that the truth be told.Most of the sites we visited today were being heavily manned by the military command and for what reasons, under what circumstances? because my outfit under no circumstances signed any contract with the military to protect those illegality. We tried to find out from the Mineral’s Commission, the Mineral’s Commission have established beyond all reasonable doubt that they have never under any occasion established any contract with those military. And so who ever authorized those military to for instance be protecting the Geo Professional Services(GPS), the Russian and the Ukranian sites, I think that it’s time those people are brought back to answer very important questions. I don’t think the military should be doing those protection because they are military. Off course they will be paid handsome reward for those activities that they are undertaking. Whoever authorized those military, I think we need to go a bit detailed into this. Until the law enforcement agencies begin to take this action very serious, I don’t think there is anyway we are going to achieve our objective.”
The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul revealed that the President ordered investigations into the allegation after another minister raised the issue during a cabinet meeting.
“The President is aware of what we’re doing, we asked him to give us one week to do the investigation and I’m sure by close of today the President will know the outcome of our investigations and then we’ll get the public to know what exactly we’ve done. The Military High Command has brought me the results of the investigation into this very matter,” he told Joy FM.
According to him officials of the Minerals Commission, Military High Command, Ghana Chamber of Mines have all been questioned in relation to the matter.