The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has told the Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) that he is not in the position to protect anybody found culpable in the act of illegal mining.
According to him, there have been several allegations of some MMDCEs’ involvement in illegal mining (galamsey) which he said was tainting the reputation of the government, and cautioned those alleged to be in the act to desist from it.
Speaking to all the MMDCEs across the country in Kumasi to seek for their assistance in the fight against illegal mining menace in the country, he said the party and for that matter, government is committed to ensure that the activities of illegal mining was stopped.
He stressed that, any MMDCE alleged to be engaging in the act with evidence would be given the opportunity to be listened to and “if your explanation is not sound, meaningful or reasonable enough, the appropriate sanctions would be applied without any favour.”
According to the President, the MMDCEs were aware of what was happening in the mining areas across the length and breadth of the country and urged them to work together actively to reverse the menace.
“The constant allegations of MMDCEs being the conveyers of the illegal mining is not the best,” he bemoaned and challenged them to clear their own names and the government’s reputation.
He disclosed that, several means have been championed by government including new legal régime and community mining, saying there would “be a severe punishment to anyone irrespective of your status.”
The President told them that they were his representatives in the various assemblies and for that matter could not be engaging in illegal mining (galamsey), adding, together they could help contain galamsey especially in the Western region which he said turned their back to the party because of his determination to fight the menace.
Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, stated that, reports from the various MMDAs revealed that the Ashanti Region was leading illegal mining activities with 23 districts.
He disclosed that, the Ministry was having the number of districts in the regions where mining activities were going on, saying there were 13 districts in the Eastern Region, two in Savannah region, Upper West six, North East region two, Upper East eight, Central region six, Western North eight, Western Region 15, Ahafo region four, Bono region four and Ashanti region, 23.
The Minister challenged the MMDCEs to collaborate with Metropolitan, Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) and District Security Council (DISEC) to fight the menace in their various jurisdictions.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI