General News of Monday, 7 August 2017
Source: Bright Dzakah
A member of the biggest opposition party and National Communication Team Member Chief Biney has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to make public details of documented policy of fighting the illegal mining popularly called galamsey.
According to him, forming taskforce and giving it ‘coded’ name alone cannot eliminate and win the fight against the illegal mining but rather a holistic approach with detailed action plan is required, noting that if care is not taken the taskforce will end up chasing out miners who may hitherto be engaging in legal small-scale business. A situation he feared may cause innocent miners to be victimized.
Commenting on the 37-year old man who was allegedly shot and killed by the galamsey taskforce, Chief Biney explained that “It is not only forming a taskforce that shows that you want to fight and win the war against galamsey, No, it doesn’t work like that. Government must provide us a detailed policy document as to how it intends eradicating what the president in opposition told us he would come and strengthened, he must tell us the plan” .
The President in his resolve to end illegal mining, ordered for formation and deployment of security men to three regions considered to be the most affected areas. To this end, a taskforce was constituted dubbed ‘Operation Vanguard’ made up of personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and the Police Service which have since been deployed to identified regions worse affected by the galamsey phenomenon.
However, reports have it that the taskforce is on a mission to avenge the death of one of their own, a news story which has since being refuted by the Public Relations Officer of Operation Vanguard, Major Gariba Pabi.
But the NDC communicator told Bright Kwesi Asempa the host of Onua Fm’s morning show host that there is no clear-cut plan as to how the taskforce should deal with the illegal miners, even if there is, then it is not public, which he said would have disabuse the minds of people living in the areas noted for galamsey operations, wondering if the taskforce that was ‘hurriedly’ put together by government, is able to separate those who have acquired license and are engaging in legal mining, from those who are actually operating illegal mines. He has expressed fears that the taskforce is likely to face challenges if proper education is not done to psyche up residents of areas identified as galamsey prone.
“We all want this menace to stop, but there was no education as to the presence of the taskforce in those places. My fear is they will end up attacking even legal miners who are doing small-scale mining, so the government must come out to tell all of us what the plan is. As it is now, if people wake up and see military men around, how do you think they will react, we all know what happens if people in the hinterland see or hear of military presence”.
He said “it is rather sad that the President has turned against the galamsey operators when he was promised to make life easier for them should they help him win the 2016 elections”