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Galamsey: You are not bigger than the law – Security Analyst to party and government officials


• He adds that the law must deal with persons found culpable in the renewed fight against illegal mining.

•The security analyst again emphasises that the seized mining equipment must be destroyed to serve as a deterrent to others.

A security analyst, Adam Bonaa has stated that officials of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and persons closer to the corridors of power deserve no special treatment in the renewed fight against illegal mining which has seen the burning of equipment seized by the military team undertaking the exercise.

Over the weekend, it was reported that the National Women Organiser of the NPP, Madam Kate Gyamfua had 9 of her excavators burnt by members of the Operation Halt team when they stormed her mining site in the Atiwa forest reserve.

Reacting to the news, Mr Bonaa in an interview with GhanaWeb noted that it was important the officers ensured the rules of their operation was applied equally to all persons found culpable regardless of their status or affiliation.

“As far as I am concerned, not even the President of the Republic is bigger than the constitution of this country and if so if there is a law banning all of us from mining in a protected area or a forest reserve, it doesn’t matter whether you are a Women Organiser or a Chairman of a political party. Anyone who knows how soldiers work knows that they are usually deployed with specific instructions and they will not end up taking instructions from people on the ground.

“It is a war and I don’t think the soldiers will get there and not go by the rules of engagement. The rules of engagement are that pick up your excavators and equipment from protected areas and I think if the videos of the burning of the excavators are anything to go by, they are allegedly found within the Atiwa forest reserve area according to the narration. The Atiwa Forest is one of our protected reserves and so if people go there to mine it doesn’t matter who you are, the laws will be applied to you,” he stated.

He added the situation of the NPP Women Organiser must serve as a warning to other party and government officials to desist from engaging in illegal mining.

“It should be a warning to everyone including political party people who think because of they belong to NPP, they can use their affiliations to the ruling government to destroy our forests and river bodies. If you heard the Asantehene recently when he was speaking at a programme, he said about 30% of the people present either were involved in galamsey or knew those involved. It tells you how deep-rooted this situation is,” Adam Bonaa observed.

Mr Bonaa who has endorsed the decommissioning of seized mining equipment further called on the media and the entire populace to support the government and the military in the ongoing exercise.

“We should destroy the galamsey mining equipment, we don’t need them. Because when they are seized, they find a way to go through the back backdoor to collect them and end up at those sites. We should be in support of the fight 100% so that the fight against illegal mining would be won,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, Xtra Gold, the mining company of the NPP National Women Organiser says it will be seeking legal redress on the burning of their equipment.

According to the spokesperson for the NPP official, her company is not a small-scale mining company but a large scale one which was operating within the confines of the law.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has however expressed shock on how some mining companies including Madam Gyamfua’s company are claiming to be holding valid operating licenses since he has not issued or renewed any license since his appointment to office.

 

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