The Minority in Parliament has accused the government of using brute force in the fight against illegal mining and in the process infringing on the human right of the miners.
The accusation of the opposition caucus in the legislative assembly follows a viral video in which a group of young men suspected to be engaged in galamsey, were made to lie in dirty, muddy water after they were caught in the act by some military personnel.
The incident which is believed to have taken place on Friday, July 15, 2022, at one of the sites belonging to Anglogold Ashanti in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region involved over 30 miners.
Addressing journalists in Parliament on Tuesday, John Abdulai Jinapor, the Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee said the government was bias towards local miners and condemned the approach adopted in the fight against the menace.
“Though the minority vehemently condemns all forms of illegal mining activities and encroaching, we are equally opposed to the use of brute, excessive and disproportionate force in the fight against illegal mining.
“The flagrant disregard for our laws under the Akufo-Addo-led Government is most unfortunate and must be condemned in the strongest terms possible. We find this incident despicable, unfortunate and highly reprehensible,” Mr Jinapor, MP, Yapei-Kusawgu said.
Substantiating his allegation of bias against local illegal miners to the advantage of their foreign counterparts, Mr Jinapor cited the Aisha Huang incident in which government left her off the hook because “we have a very good relationship with China,” according to former Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Mafo.
“You will recall the infamous incident involving a Chinese Galamsey Queen known as Aisha Huang, following her arrest for her involvement in illegal mining, the state unilaterally discontinued the case in court on a flimsy excuse that they stood to secure economic gains for her release.
“Whiles her prosecution should have been used as a deterrent to others, it was treated with kids’ gloves as usual,” John Jinapor recalled.
He wants a probe into the conduct of the military personnel.
“The Minority, therefore, wish to call for an impartial and credible investigation into this act and the culprits made to face the full sanctions of the law.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI