The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP’s), Bernard Antwi Boasiako, also known as Chairman Wontumi has condemned the burning of excavators by Anti-Galamsey Task Force in their quest to curb illegal mining in the country.
He described the act as “inappropriate and barbaric” which must be condemned by all including the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. John Peter Amewu.
The National Anti-Galamsey Task force, code named ‘Operation Vanguard,’ has reportedly set about 10 excavators on fire.
The incident reportedly happened when it invaded Extra Gold Company and other mining sites at Akyem-Banso and Kwabeng – all in the Atiwa District of the Eastern Region, on Tuesday.
The earth-moving equipment of at least 22 tones each were doused when a contingent of the 400 members of the task force went to the mining sites.
The team, consisting of military and police personnel, reportedly fired several gunshots at the premises of the company.
The burning of the excavators is contrary to the Minerals and Mining Act 2015 – Section 99 under Offences and Penalties states that seized equipment must be kept in the custody of the police.
Speaking on Accra-based Neat FM, Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako urged the owners of the heavy duty machine to sue government.
“They should go to court and sue government. In as much as we are fighting against illegal mining, it is uncivilized to burn excavators whiles we can use that to work. Whoever is responsible must be identified and face the law. I have been a victim and will never support this barbaric act,” he said.
“I believe the task force members have been trained for this operation, were they advised to burn excavators? Someone must face the law for this inhumane behavior,” he said.