General News of Tuesday, 11 July 2017
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, has said he is not deterred in his fight against illegal mining, following the discovery of an audiovisual recording device that was hidden in his office.
The supposed spying device believed to have been secretly planted in the office was discovered on Monday by national security operatives.
The National Security Ministry is currently investigating the matter to establish the circumstances under which the device was installed, and who is behind it.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Monday, Mr. Amewu, whose ministry has been at the forefront of the illegal mining menace in the country, said the fight, which has the approval of the President will not be hampered in any way.
“It is extremely difficult for me to suspect anybody; this is a public office rendering services to the public. And the office is opened to all kinds of people. I have no single doubt in my mind that I’m going to continue what I’m doing,” he added.
He also said security at the office has been beefed up after the discovery. “We have been putting adequate security in place going forward. And so we will make sure that we work in an environment that is protected, that assurance I can give Ghanaians.”
I’m not too surprised about uncovered ‘spying’ device – Amewu
He earlier in a Citi News interview said he was not “too surprised” about the discovery.
“It is quite shocking. It is a caution for us to be careful in the environment we are working in. I am not too surprised; but it is an interesting thing that has been uncovered. The fight against illegal mining is a presidential directive.
The President gave this directive that we must keep the environment. And I am not doing this alone. I am doing it with other sectorial Ministers so it is a caution that we should be extra careful,” Mr. Amewu added.
The Minister has taken some drastic measures, including placing a six-month ban on small-scale mining activities to sanitize the industry.
Many Ghanaians survive on illegal mining activities, which is also backed by some traditional authorities, politicians and other influential persons in society.
The fight against the menace is therefore considered quite complicated, due to the widespread interests. –