General News of Tuesday, 18 February 2020
The Upper East Regional Communication Bureau of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), says President Akufo-Addo’s failure to sack Presidential staffer, Charles Bissiw, after a damning video implicating him in illegal mining clearly shows government is not ready to walk the talk on the fight against the menace.
According to them, presidential staffers have “institutionalized galamsey” at the Jubilee House, making the President’s much touted fight against the illegal activity a charade.
Government waged a war on small-scale illegal mining activities, popularly known as galamsey, in 2017 following a campaign by the media to end the menace in the country.
Several water bodies in mining areas suffered losses in their ecological balance as a result of the activities of illegal miners.
Subsequently, all forms of small-scale mining activities were banned and a joint military-police taskforce known as Operation Vanguard was formed to fight the galamsey menace.
But recent happenings, including a case involving a minister of state at the presidency, Rockson Bukari, trying to bribe a Starr FM Journalist to drop an investigative story against a Chinese mining company – Shaanxi Mines- which has subsequently led to his resignation, have left the NDC convinced that the Akufo-Addo led government is not serious in its commitment to end the illegal activity which has eaten deep into the fiber of society.
In a recent press statement jointly signed by Saeed Ahmed Tijani and Sunday C. Kampoli, the party’s regional officers in charge of communication, the NDC says the President should have removed from office, Mr. Bissiw and others who are complicit and prosecute them to demonstrate his commitment to Ghanaians.
“Will Hon. Rockson Bukari’s resignation change government’s complicity in the promotion of the Shaanxi Mining Company Limited mining menace in the Upper East Region especially in the Talensi Constituency? Or does it change the damning revelations contained in Anas’ Galamsey fraud documentary which expose the corrupt acts of government officials like Mr. Charles Bissiw in the promotion of Galamsey?
Will it change the fact that presidential staffers are aiding and facilitating Galamsey mainly by Chinese and other foreign nationals in the country? Or will it change the lack of commitment of President Akufo-Addo to the Galamsey fight?” The state questioned the government.
The NDC in their statement also condemned the actions of Rockson Bukari and called for his prosecution to serve as deterrent to others who would want to cow Journalists into killing stories on corruption that are of public good.
“Ladies and gentleman Hon. Rockson Bukari was caught on an audio tape trying to bribe a Star FM journalist, in an effort to kill a story that exposes the illegal mining operations of a Chinese company, Shaanxi mining company limited in the Upper-East region.
“Yes, we admit Bribery and corruption on the part of a Public Officer is a crime under section 244 of Ghana’s Criminal Code. But, Hon. Rockson Bukari’s resignation cannot and will never be sufficient remedy for his crime.
“We demand he must as a matter of urgency, be prosecuted and punished to serve as a deterrent to others who engage in similar criminal acts,” the statement said.
The statement also demanded the immediate resignation and prosecution of Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, “or else the people of Upper East Region will not forgive the Nana Addo led NPP government in the upcoming 2020 election”