General News of Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul has called on chiefs in various communities to collaboratively work with security agencies in the country to end illegal mining.
According to him, the only way government can peacefully end illegal mining without any confrontation will be for chiefs to work hand in hand with security agencies.
“I’m pleading on the chiefs to work with the security agencies because they are there to protect you, they are there to work with you(Chiefs) to lead the success story since you know where most of the ‘galamsey’ operation is going to take place” he stated
“when the police and the soldiers get to these illegal mining areas we want them to operate in such a way that by the time they leave not even a drop of blood is shed on the ground but the only way we can achieve that is through the chiefs because when the Chiefs decide that we are stopping illegal mining with the security forces in two months I believe there won’t be a single ‘galamsey’ in Ghana any longer,” he added
He advised chiefs to report security forces who may offend them in the dispensation of their duties to the appropriate authorities instead of trying to disarm them.
“Don’t try to disarm soldiers, if you think the soldiers are doing something wrong, report the matter to the ministry of defense and other authorities, we will stop whatever is going on, if you try to disarm them yourself they may think you threatening their own very lives and you can never know what might happen” he stated.
The call comes on the back of recent attacks on some soldiers who have been assigned to specific consignments across the country, to help in the fight the menace of galamsey in the country.
One such instance is the case of the late Major Maxwell Mahama who was lynched in the Denkyira-Obuasi township during his stay in the town as part of his duties towards ending the menace.
The deceased, an officer of the 5th Infantry Battalion, was lynched and partly burnt by some youth of Denenkyira-Obuasi in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region on Monday, May 29, 2017, on suspicion that he was an armed robber.
Over 20 suspects have so far been arrested by the police in connection with the murder, seven of which have already made an appearance in court and have been remanded to police custody.
His death has rekindled the debate on mob justice, and the need to end the canker.