General News of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he has not firmed up his mind on whether or not he would contest the December 2020 presidential polls.
Akufo-Addo made the jaw-dropping statement during a media encounter at the Seat of government Monday morning which was broadcast live on almost all radio and television stations across the country.
The statement has caused some ripples within the New Patriotic party (NPP) and been met with a general disapproval.
The President said he had heard there were some youngsters who had threatened not to vote for him in 2020 because of his resolve to eradicate illegal mining activities also known as ‘galamsey’ in the country but he was least perturbed about the threats because he may not even contest the 2020 polls and even if he would contest, he would still maintain his anti-galamsey posture and damn the consequences.
“I am very, very clear about that and I am not going back on this commitment. I have been told there are young men who are saying they voted for me and if I continue down this way, they can be sure that they would not vote for me again in 2020.
“Well, the 2020 votes, it is not clear that Akufo-Addo’s name would be on the ballot paper in the first place. And even if his name is on the ballot this is not going to be the reason why I would stop, we are going to continue”, Nana Akufo-Addo noted.
He further declared: “Just let me repeat again it is a truly important objective of bringing the galamsey phenomenon to an end in Ghana. And within the confines of the law, what is acceptable behaviour by government, I intend to mobilize all the resources that the government has at its disposal to bring this phenomenon to an end.”
Nana Addo, in is introductory remarks at the media encounter explained his exact position on the challenge of improper and illegal mining in Ghana. He noted: “In the six months of our being in office, easily the headline subject has been the fight against galamsey. I am glad that the majority of our compatriots have recognised the danger posed to the existence of our nation by the practice of galamsey.
“As I have said before, since the Almighty has blessed our land with mineral resources, we cannot do without mining, and we have the right to exploit the minerals in our land. But we cannot and should not destroy our lands and water bodies and our environment in the search for gold and other minerals.
“I am grateful that the majority of people and you, the media, have lent their support to the campaign against galamsey. I am hoping that the programme to restore the degraded lands will attract the same enthusiasm. For my part, I will not relent in this struggle, nor will the Cabinet Committee, headed by that eminent Ghanaian, the Minister for Environment, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, which is spearheading government’s efforts in this fight.”