Former President John Mahama will not legitimize illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, should he come back to government, his special aide Joyce Bawa Mogtari has clarified.
Mr. Mahama’s latest criticism against the government’s crackdown on illegal mining has been perceived by some Ghanaians as his tolerance for the harmful activity.
“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,” Mahama said in Kumasi over the weekend.
The ruling NPP has condemned the remarks and demanded an apology from the former President.
“…And we expect that as honourable as he is expected, he either redraw honorably and offer an unqualified apology to the boldness and the courage with which Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is addressing this menace,” the party’s acting general secretary John Boadu noted at a press conference in Accra Monday.
Responding to the issue, Mrs. Mogtari told Starr Midday News Mr. Mahama was factual with his remarks.
“The former President did not say he would bring back galamsey should he come back in power in 2020. He rather stated that he would come up with opportunities and means for those engaging in the galamsey activities. There’s really nothing to apologize for,” she said.
The NPP government led by President Akufo-Addo is on a massive crackdown against illegal mining which has bedeviled the country for many years.