President Akufo-Addo says any individual found culpable in the missing excavators saga will be punished.
“Our battle was not against mining itself. It would be unrealistic to suggest that there should be no mining in Ghana. However, taking the minerals out should not lead to the pollution of our water bodies and the destruction of our forests.
“The Police have arrested some of the culprits and investigations are still ongoing. No one involved will be shielded no matter their position or political colours,” he said while delivering his final state of the Nation Address before the 2020 polls.
The assurance from the President comes in the wake of reports of official complicity in the missing exacavators.
Some leading members of the ruling party have pointed accusing fingers at the Lands and Environment Minister Prof. Frimpong Boateng of being an accomplice in the scandal.
The opposition NDC has also called on government to account for the 900 excavators which have been seized since the fight against illegal mining started.
According to Communications officer of the party Sammy Gyamfi, government in its own 2020 budget stated that about 900 excavators have been confiscated so far and not 500 as is being claimed by government lately.
Speaking at a press conference at the banks of the Twifo Praso river in the Central region, Mr. Gyamfi said the NDC will petition the UN over President Akufo-Addo’s appointment as co-chair of the SDG Advocates following his ‘failed’ fight on illegal mining.
“The NDC further demands, that the Akufo-Addo Government as a matter of urgency, should fully account for all items seized as listed at paragraph 801 of the 2020 Budget Statement presented to Parliament. We insist that a public exhibition of all 900 excavators, 2,779 weapons and ammunition and the 4,045 other mining equipment confiscated must be held in the spirit of transparency and to the benefit of all Ghanaians. We are terrified at the prospect of all these weapons finding their way into the hands of hoodlums belonging to NPP vigilante groups in an election year.
“More importantly, we hereby serve notice, that the NDC shall in the coming days, petition the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to revoke the appointment of President Akufo-Addo as Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates,” the party said.
The party reiterated their position the fight against galamsey was a ploy to enrich members of the ruling party.