General News of Tuesday, 8 August 2017
Acting General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu has bemoaned the high-handedness of members of operation vanguard in an ongoing exercise to clamp down on illegal mining activities in the country.
He disclosed on Accra-based Okay Fm on Tuesday that he has received reports that the military are overstepping their bounds and engaging in acts that do not lie within their purview indicating that the backlash may have negative repercussions on the party.
“The high-handedness of the military is worrying because we have received reports that some of these people are chased into their homes, arrested, beaten and paraded on the streets of their communities. In some cases we have received reports that their machines have been burnt. I do not think this is what they were asked them to do. I have started talking to the ministers involved behind the scenes. Most of these people mining in some parts of the Western Region are not polluting water bodies, it is just surface mining and if you are treating them this way, it is not fair to the government”, he observed.
The NPP stalwart promised to liaise with the appropriate stakeholders to ensure that the military work within their mandate in order not to give the government of the day a bad name.
It would be recalled that a combined team of armed police and military personnel were deployed to various mining sites in the country to further intensify the fight against illegal mining activities.
It followed threats by members of the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) to return to mining sites and faced off with members of the security agencies indicating that they have the requisite documents to extract the precious minerals.
But the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, announced in July this year the extended military operation is aimed at ridding small-scale illegal miners from the mining concessions of big mining companies.