One of the headlines that appeared on the front pages of many newspapers yesterday was the death of one galamseyer (illegal miner), who was shot dead by the Anti-galamsey Task Force at Wawasi, a community in Obuasi, in the Ashanti Region on Sunday.

According to media reports, a violent clash between illegal miners and the joint police-cum-military task force led to the death of the 31 year old illegal miner.

In addition to the exchange of gun-fire with the task force, the illegal miners also pelted the security personnel with stones, the spokesman of the team, Major Gariba Pabi said.

The fight against illegal mining is a national exercise that majority of Ghanaians agreed must be carried out to halt the damage being done to water bodies and the environment.

Named “Operation Vanguard”, the exercise is to stamp out entirely the activities of illegal miners so that the degraded lands can be reclaimed and water bodies returned to their normal state.

However, in carrying out their task, one person had to lose his life. Indeed, it is unfortunate that a life has already been lost and many others arrested.

The Ghanaian Times is concerned about the unfortunate death of the illegal miner and wished that no death had occurred, in spite of the fact that the operation is necessary.

Illegal mining is not worth the death of any Ghanaian. The fight against it has received overwhelming support from all spheres of life and to fight the task force is like a fight against the tide.

It would not be worth it for anyone to oppose the fight and attempt to confront the taskforce. It is better for every illegal miner to withdraw and get out of harm’s way.

The “war” against galamsey is a war we must win and anyone standing in the way cannot be spared.

But we caution against any more bloodshed and members of the taskforce must exercise professionalism in the discharge of their duties.

We urged that the personnel even in the face of provocation exercise extreme caution so that we do not lose anymore illegal miners.

We also call on the galamseyers to stop the attacks on the security personnel and vacate their sites immediately. Otherwise they cannot blame anyone for any misfortune.

What all Ghanaians are agreeable on is that the decision to fight galamsey is irreversible and the operations of the task force cannot halt until all galamsey sites have been secured.

A word to the wise is enough.

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