Don’t allow Aisha Huang to overshadow development issues

To most Ghanaians the name Aisha Huang is synonymous with illegal mining or galamsey.

This is because in 2017, this Chinese woman was arrested for engaging in galamsey and put before court but in 2018 the whole world was informed that Aisha was out of the country.

The information then was that prosecutors had filed nolle prosequi to discontinue her trial leaving the court with no option than to discharge Ms Huang and her four alleged Chinese accomplices.

Hardly did Ghanaians imagine Aisha would dream of coming back to Ghana, but the Chinese woman, tagged as ‘Galamsey Queen’ was reported arrested in Kumasi, on September 2, this year by National Security operatives.

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She and her three accomplices have been arraigned at a circuit court in Accra for sale and purchase of minerals without licence and mining without licence where they have pleaded not guilty and have been remanded, meaning their trial continues.

Now, there are controversies relating to Aisha’s leaving the country in 2018 and her return this year.

In spite of the government providing documented evidence from the Ghana Immigration Service that Aisha was, indeed, repatriated, the prosecutors in the current case on Wednesday stated that she sneaked out of country to avoid the earlier prosecution.

Besides, some people are asking questions as to who aided her leaving the country, avoiding any reference to the evidence of repatriation provided by the government.

Some opposition politicians have even gone further to claim that Aisha Huang is a bankroller of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and that government officials aided both her 2018 exit and return this year.

They add that the claim of her repatriation was a hoax and that she had been shielded to live in the country since 2018.

The latest of all the controversies is that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he was “not sure” if Aisha Huang was “deported or fled” the country.

However, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has clarified the matter that Aisha was actually repatriated and not deported.

A lawyer as he is, Mr Oppong Nkrumah is careful about his choice of words.

Deportation generally is sending back or banishing someone to his or her country for undesirable acts in the host country, typically the commission of crime.

Repatriation, on the other hand, is the process of helping someone return to his or her country or elsewhere under certain favourable conditions.

Whatever the controversies are, the Information Minister says what is most important now is the prosecution of Aisha and her accomplices and given the appropriate sanctions, if found guilty.

The Ghanaian Times shares this position and so wishes to call on the whole nation to remain calm and wait for the verdict of the court, while they support the war on galamsey.

Ghana now has become a country of talkers who dwell on unproductive issues to the neglect of what would help the country to progress.

At a time the state is fighting galamsey, is it not better to pray that the prosecution would get evidence to adduce against the suspects and have the court sanction them rather than churning out propaganda and other fruitless noises?

Why should one little Chinese galamseyer be given the centre stage in public discourse at a time there are more important issues undermining the welfare of citizens which must be called to attention?

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