LEADERSHIP of the Ghana Union Movement (GUM), a newly registered political party seeking to contest the 2020 presidential and parliamentary poll, has launched a blistering verbal attack at President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for lying to Ghanaians that his administration had fought against illegal small-mining activities in the eight mining-prone regions in the country which hitherto had largely made negative effects on water bodies and forest range reserves.
Addressing a thick crowd of members and supporters of GUM at the official launch of the party’s 2020 manifesto in Accra on Saturday, February 8, 2020, the Flag-bearer of GUM, Reverend Dr Christian Kwabena Andrew, popularly known as Osofo Kyiri Abosom, stressed that President Akufo-Addo claim to have minimised the activities of illegal small-mining was completely a lie and political propaganda machinery to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians.
Interestingly, Osofo Kyiri Abosom, who doubles as the Head Pastor of Life Assembly Worship Centre, stated that the President has failed Ghanaians in the fight against the menace, which was still putting economic burdens on the Ghana Water Company Limited.
He noted that the hard evidences available to Ghanaians collaborated reports from residents from various mining communities on the damage to water bodies and forest reserves through the practice of galamsey.
He asserted that the claim by the President to have set up a task force of a joint military and police team to arrest galamseyers who flouted the law was rather a waste of the tax payer’s money.
He added that although the sitting government led by President Akufo-Addo in 2017 waged a war against galamseyers by issuing a ban, in its bid to protect the country’s water bodies which were being depleted due to galamsey, the current regime has witnessed a spate and an upsurge of illegal mining, known in Ghanaian parlance as “galamsey.”
According to them, Mr Akufo-Addo”s efforts of placing the ban on small-mining activities, were just a face-serving exercise, ostensibly to give due advantage to some top chiefs of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to enrich themselves.
In this regard, the man of God promised Ghanaians that he will legalise galamsey if elected as President in the 2020 general election.
He explained that galamseyers — illegal small-scale miners, in the country will return to mining sites if he becomes President
According to him, it was pointless for galamseyers to wallow in poverty when they can work to cater for their families.
Osofo Kyiriabosom said he will put in place measures that will offer galamseyers the opportunity to work again without destroying water bodies.
He explained that his government will supply the galamseyers’ equipment to reclaim the lands for other profitable ventures.
The flag-bearer of GUM further called on galamseyers who have become unemployed due to the actions by the government to vote massively for him in the 2020 showdown.
“Ghana belongs to all of us, so galamseyers will return to the field when I become President in 2021, after their operations, we will give them excavators to cover the pits that will be created after the mining, and then, we will plant trees on the used lands. We will only allow them to go to the lands and not where water bodies are,” Osofo Kyiriabosom said.
He accused President Akufo-Addo of reducing the Community Mining Programme (CMP) to political mire where only those with NPP affiliate were being considered.
The man of God indicated that some former illegal small-scale gold miners (ex-galamseyers) who were trained by the government to benefit from the programme have been denied their mining operating permit licenses.
According to him, the licenses for the programme which were to be given to the former illegal small-scale gold miners were rather being issued to few ex-galamseyers who were identified as members and supporters of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) without recourse to the law governing mining activities.
He noted that some top officials of the NPP who were not supposed to benefit from the programme had rather secured mining operating permit license illegally to embark on the programme meant for ex-galamseyers (youth) who hitherto became redundant due to the ban on illegal small-scale mining activities.
According to him, the miners find it extremely difficult to secure the mining operating license to carry out the community mining programme although they have gone through the rightful processes and procedures of collecting the environmental permit license from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
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