Security analyst, Dr. Adam Bonaa has raised concerns about the comment by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Amenfi East Parliamentary Candidate, Ernest Frimpong disbandment of key task forces combating illegal mining in Ghana.

Addressing the miners, in the presence of the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, and some party executives in the region, Ernest Frimpong revealed all anti-galamsey task forces have been disbanded by the government, hence no soldier has the authority to stop anyone from mining.

“Operation halt, galamstop, whatever, whatever, soldiers that ambush you, we have canceled all those operations and officially they do not have permission to run such operations again. So, if anyone comes to your site, you have the right to question him on his mission there,” he told the miners in the Twi language.

However, speaking on Starr FM‘s Midday News with Naa Dedei Tettey, Dr. Bonaa stated the lack of official communication regarding the status of these units, which are vital to the fight against illegal mining also known as galamsey in the country.

“Not at all. I’m not at all. I am not aware of it. I work closely with all the security agencies in this country. I get to take part in a lot of the activities, covertly and, overtly. And so as far as I’m concerned, this has not come to my notice. I am not aware of it,” Dr. Bonaa said, emphasizing his shock and disbelief at the situation.

Dr. Bonaa criticized the manner in which this information has surfaced, pointing out that issues of such public interest should have been communicated officially.

“So there is no way that some of us will know that it’s been disbanded and we will keep quiet over it. No. So I am not aware of it. I heard it the first time, the commentary that you have also, you have seen. So I’m not aware of it, not at all,” he added.

The analyst did not mince words in criticizing the government’s handling of the matter, particularly targeting President Akufo-Addo’s earlier promises to tackle illegal mining.

“It tells you that when the President did indeed promise that he put his presidency on the line, it was just mere rhetoric. And I say so because the President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces,” Dr. Bonaa asserted.

“I say it is a lawless house because if the President would go and launch a law house, and he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, and you have a regional minister who happens to be, by law, the chairman of the regional security council, and a person, a member of a parliamentary candidate, out of that world, okay, coming from what we know, Medongama getting jailed in this boring manner,” Dr. Bonaa explained.

The security analyst also condemned the violence against security officers at mining sites, stressing that it reflects a state of lawlessness. “If we are not in a state of lawlessness, how can such a person attack us coming in the presence of the regional minister? And the regional minister goes on to say it’s been disbanded. And we hear this in this terrible manner. So for me, it is a shame,” he said.

Dr. Bonaa called for the immediate arrest of a parliamentary candidate who allegedly incited attacks on security officers, citing the legal framework for citizen’s arrests. “The law says when you arrest someone who is committing a crime, take the person straight to the police station for safe custody with your evidence. And here we are. This person is justifying what he said with impunity,” he said.

Emphasizing the broader implications of mob violence, Dr. Bonaa referenced past incidents where security personnel were killed, urging the President and relevant ministers to clarify the operational status of the anti-galamsey units and reinforce the rule of law. “Let’s hear from them now. Because these officers come directly under them as policymakers, you know, by and large,” he stated emphatically.

Dr. Bonaa’s remarks have sparked a public debate on the effectiveness of Ghana’s anti-galamsey efforts and the need for transparent governance. The nation now waits for responses from the Presidency, National Security, Interior, and Defence Ministries on this critical issue.

Source: Ghana/ Mensah