There are some people in government and even at the seat of government, the Jubilee House, who are currently involved in illegal small-scale mining (Galamsey), Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng who served as Minister for Science and Technology in President Akufo-Addo’s first government, has said.
He stated that some persons in government orchestrated his exit following his fight against the illicit smallscale mining trade, just to be able to go on with the illegal practice.
Speaking to Ghana Television, he said “There was an orchestrated scheme, even within the party and government to get me out. Why is it that when I left now everyone is in the forest?
“I don’t want to go into details now because I have a lot to say on that. Let me tell you that I did not take one excavator for anything, they know the truth. Now things are coming up, we know those who are behind it and the party people who are there, people in government including Jubilee House who are doing galamsey and so on, even now. So let Frimpong Boateng stay in his corner and enjoy his retirement,” he said when asked for his answer on the whereabouts of the 500 excavators that were reportedly missing.
Mr Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, since becoming President in 2017, has been attempting to fight galamsey.
It is recalled that he told the National House of Chiefs that the task to protect the lands and the environment from the effect of galamsey was a joint responsibility between the government and the traditional authorities.
Mr Akufo-Addo explained during a meeting with the Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 that 80 per cent of the lands in Ghana are in the custody of the chiefs.
This meant that they had a role to play in protecting the resource, he said.
He said “80 per cent of the lands in this country continue to be under your custody, much of it having been acquired through the blood and sacrifices of your ancestors. The reminder of 20 per cent which I hold in trust of the people of Ghana, derived from state acquisition from you. What this means is that ultimately, the welfare of the state of the lands is our joint responsibility, although by statute the minerals in the soil belong to the president in trust for the people.”
The chiefs on their part assured Mr Akufo-Addo that they were solidly behind his administration to apply appropriate measures against all persons involved in Galamsey in the country.
President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyeb indicated that galamsey was having a negative effect on the environment and also threatened revenue mobilsation in the country hence, their resolve to support the President and government in fighting it.
He said “your relentless war against forest degradation and illegal mining in Ghana is of great importance to Ghanaians especially we the chiefs.
“The effects of illegal mining on the environment threaten the survival of water bodies , farmlands, cocoa industry and even encouraging school dropouts, this undermins the revenue mobilsation drive in the country.
“In view of this development [the Chiefs] are solidly behind your administration to apply the appropriate sanctions against persons who are engaged in the practice illegal mining irrespective of their status.”