General News of Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, has argued that the Akufo-Addo-led government did not give timelines when it promised to put an end to the operations of illegal miners across the country.
The minister who doubles as a member of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining said even though the government is focused on clamping down the menace, it cannot be done in a matter of days or months.
“…When the president decided to put his job on the line to ensure that we worked on the menace of ‘galamsey’, we didn’t give timeframes that we’re going to stop ‘galamsey’ today, tomorrow. That is not a timeframe. It is making it a national discourse for you and I…” she said amidst loud disapproving chants from the minority.
Speaking on the floor of parliament, Hajia Alima said, the issue of illegal mining has been largely politicized making it difficult to be responsive to governmental interventions over the years.
Hajia Alima indicated that even though government and its stakeholders have unhesitantly fought the ‘galamsey’ menace, it must not be used as a propaganda tool for opposing political personalities to score political points.
“…it wasn’t an issue that was meant to become propaganda for political issues to arrive out of it for them to see who has won what and who didn’t win. And the Inter-ministerial committee focused and that and achieved some successes. Having cleared the area and the ‘galamseyers’ who were involved in it we then removed the ban…” she retorted.
In an attempt to clear some misconceptions about the ongoing fight against illegal mining, she said government, through the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, has achieved enormous successes over the years which have been buried with politics.
“…There are some success stories so please let’s not take this very serious issue of the menace and play politics with it. I will entreat you to work with the government for us to ensure that we clear our water, we have clean drinking water in our communities. This is not something that we achieve in a day or a year. In fact, after the WW11 Germany took 30 years to clear their waters.”