The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has hinted that it will drag the government to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity if it fails to address the escalating rate of illegal mining in the country.
It has thus given the government a 90-day ultimatum to find a lasting solution to the illegal mining menace, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, or meet it at the ICC.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Chairman of the PPP, Nii Allotey Brew Hammond said, “we are giving the Akufo-Addo-led government a three month’s ultimatum to stop galamsey operation in Ghana.
Failure to do so shall compel us to drag him to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.”
His threat came on the back of a campaign against the practice by the media and civil society organisations.
Ghana, he said, risked importing water in the next five years if the ‘galamsey’ menace was not dealt with immediately because the water bodies were being polluted.
Cocoa farmers, the PPP Chairman said, have been compelled to sell their farm lands for galamsey cash because the state has failed to guarantee the safety and security of their investments as farmers, a situation he said could lead to food insecurity in the country.
“No wonder, Ghana continues to experience a reduction of about 100,000 tons per annum in the production of cocoa, contributing to the global reduction trends expected to hit about one million tons,” he noted.
According to Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, the governing NPP and the opposition NDC, the two parties that have enjoyed duopoly since Ghana returned to constitutional rule in 1992, lack the political will to effectively tackle the menace.
He alleged that information from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources indicated that 60 to 70 per cent of excavators in Ghana are not used for road construction but rather, illegal mining activities.
“How are the excavators able to move to the mining sites without the knowledge of the police and the security agencies?” he asked.
“We simply cannot allow illegal miners to destroy our cocoa growing regions like the Brong-Ahafo, Western, Ashanti and Eastern Regions, all because some people have decided to mine outside the law, and operate their mining activities in prohibited areas in gross violation of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (703),” he stated.