Former President John Dramani Mahama has advised the government against the use of excessive force against illegal small scale miners, suggesting that there are better ways to fight the illegal activity.
The current government has formed the Operation Vanguard task force to fight illegal mining across the country.
The task force, which comprises soldiers, police officers, and other security operatives has succeeded in driving away some illegal miners in some mining communities in spite of some excesses.
However, addressing thousands of National Democratic Congress (NDC) sympathizers during the party’s Unity Walk at Aboabo in the Asawase Constituency last Saturday in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region , Mr. Mahama said using soldiers to fight illegal mining won’t achieve results, adding the measure was tried during his tenure but failed.
“The use of security personnel against our young men and women (galamseyers) is nothing new. We tried it but it didn’t work; so we introduced a new mining law to regulate the activities of small-scale miners while giving them the opportunity to earn some income,” Mr. Mahama said.
According to him, a blanket ban on small-scale mining and the use of soldiers against innocent young people was not the way to go.
He said a livelihood package that serves as an alternative income for the miners should have been considered first before the blanket ban on small-scale mining.
Story: Minerals & Mining Matters with Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
Writer’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org