Former President John Mahama has urged small scale miners in the country to vote against President Akufo-Addo in the upcoming elections.
According to him, the President launched an attack on the operations of small scale miners through the fight against illegal mining only for his ‘people to takeover’.
“President Akufo-Addo promised not to collapse galamsey but what has he done? He has stopped your work. What is more painful is that he has allowed his people to engage in the practice to get money whereas he has barred his opponents form doing same. His people are still doing galamsey,” the former President told a gathering at Agona Amenfi in the Western region on Monday.
He added: “President Akufo-Addo seizes excavators belonging to his opponents and gives them to his party people to engage in the trade.When we come to power we will retrieve all the missing excavators and give them back to their rightful owners.”
NDC promises galamseyers
The National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Samuel Ofosu Ampofo says the NDC will initiate processes to review sentences of jailed illegal miners and pardon those who merit it.
Hundreds of illegal miners mostly Ghanaians were thrown into jail in the heat of the government’s fight against illegal mining in the country. Some families contended their relatives were wrongfully jailed having been rounded up in a swoop by Operation Vanguard Taskforce, a joint security body tasked to clamp down on culprits.
In May 2019 for instance, family members of four (4) illegal miners – Kwaku Ampaabeng,32, Kwabena Apaw,39, Evans Ahenkorah,33, and Yaw Effah Boateng,51 – all residents of Akim Oda Nkwanta and Akim Apinamang jailed four years each and fined Ghc24,000 by the Koforidua Circuit Court accused government of discrimination in punishing illegal miners as Chinese culprits are left off the hook.
Beatrice Kwakyewaa, wife of one of the convicts told Starr News whiles in tears at the Court that “my husband whom I have five children with is among those jailed. He was not even mining. Government has left the Chinese to go free while he jails his own citizens. We are heartbroken on our own land”.
Addressing a mini durbar at Akyem Takorase in the Akwatia Constituency as part of the NDC’s runningmate tour of the Eastern Region, Mr Ofosu Ampofo criticised the Akufo-Addo-led government for the discriminatory approach in handling the galamsey issue.