Mr. Akwasi Addai a.k.a “Odike”- Founder and Leader for United Progressive Party (UPP) has made an appeal to the Asantehene, Otumfour Osei Tutu II to ban all surface mining activities in the Asante Kingdom.
According to his statement, the lives of people in the Asante Kingdom have been threatened by the activities of illegal mining hence the need for Otumfour to use his outmost powers to fight the menace.
Outspoken “Odike” who made this passionate appeal on April 26, 2021 while speaking on Kumasi based OTEC FM’s afternoon political show “Dwabrem” urged the Asantehene to sanction all chiefs under his jurisdiction if found that there is illegal mining that area.
The vociferous politician who has been vocal on fighting illegal mining in the country emphasized that, the problem of galamsey could easily be solved with one directive from Asantehene to his su- chiefs.
He strongly pledged his full support to him and urged the overlord of Asante Kingdom to be resolute in the fight against galamsey.
“I don’t think Ghana has taken it up seriously [enough] for us to make a conscious effort and for us all to be conscious about the fact that we are all bound to preserve the climate and earth. And talking about that, you can talk about illegal mining which includes the destruction of the water that we drink, the contamination of minerals and the destruction of the earth. The Asantehene can help find a solution to this and this is the kind of consciousness we all need,” Odike advised.
He further revealed that the problem of galamsey is unending because person with political coverings are allowed to engage in the illicit activity whiles those without political clout are barred from also engaging in the activity.
Nana Akufo-Addo in the early days of his first term as president declared that he was prepared to put his presidency on the line in the fight against galamsey.
His declaration was amidst new measures such as the deployment of police and military personnel to arrest illegal miners across the country and the introduction of a community mining programme aimed at regulating small-scale mining in communities in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Recently, there have been complaints that the water bodies that were regaining their natural state at the height of the fight against galamsey are becoming polluted again due to the increasing activities of illegal mining in various parts of the country
Meanwhile the newly appointed minister for Lands and Natural Resources Samuel Jinapor has said President Akufo-Addo remains resolute in his commitment to nip illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’ in the bud despite the challenges he has encountered so far.
However Mr Akwasi Addai Odike believes only Asantehene can stop the problem of illegal mining in the Asante Kingdom.
“There are aspects of our national life which are of first subject matters of partisan politics. We must however come to the understanding that small scale mining with the requirement to do away with the illegalities in that sector should be beyond partisan politics.
“Some subjects simply cannot be part of our everyday politicking and I use this forum to insist that illegal small-scale mining and matters relating to it should be one of such issues requiring national efforts,” Mr Akwasi Addai said.
“The problem is that people who do not have the political clouts or the social standing are stopped from engaging in this activity whiles those who have political covering are allowed to do it.
“That is what the truth is allegedly. This is not an NPP or NDC issue because galamsey did not start during NPP’s time,” Mr Akwasi Addai said.
He added “The presidency must back off for the law enforcement agencies to do their work.”
“The presidency should not be involved” Let the authorities in the mining areas deal with it.