By Issifu Seidu Kudus Gbeadese
(The Youth Imam)

Salam Alaikum,

I bring you peace in this holy month of Ramadhan. I have decided to leave my quiet cave and to join the National conversation because silence doesn’t guarantee peace of mind any longer in this country.

There is this cover the Akufo-Addo government is as usual creating in order to get the field day to swindle the taxpayer once more. The talk about the RENEWED FIGHT AGAINST GALAMSEY this early in the stolen second term of Akufo-Addo is not for nothing and obviously not for good reasons. I, and I know many other discerning Ghanaians suspect that this government is up to some game plan as they always do in the end.

In the beginning, we were all witnesses to the promise made by candidate Akufo-Addo to the small scale miners in the run up to the 2016 general elections. His immediate U-turn to want to chase these small scale miners in what they call some fight against galamsey was suspicious. Indeed, those of us who have never trusted the genuineness of the call were vindicated in the end when the fight rather became a well crafted loop for President Akufo-Addo and his appointees to engage in galamsey.

The taxpayer lost twice in that charade of a fight against galamsey. Our taxes were used to chase and kill Ghanaians, imprisoned others, and in the end the foreigner was granted the permit with big men in government and at NPP party headquarters fronting for them. We lost our water bodies in this so called fight as well. So, excluding those government officials who benefited from the so called galamsey fight, the rest of Ghanaians have lost twice in the end.

We were told by John Peter Amewu, then minister for lands and natural resources that government intended to use about $3m to procure drones which will be used as surveillance in the forest to track and arrest all illegal miners and their equipment including excavators. What happened to the drones? We were told that the satellite station for the drones will be at the Presidency so that effective monitoring could be done. Unfortunately in the end, those at the Presidency were caught either engaging in illegal mining themselves or assisting others to do so.

What happened when Aisha Huan was arrested? The story the Senior Minister came to tell us is still fresh in our ears. Do you know that those who fronted for Aisha Huan still had concessions running and they were making millions weekly even after the supposed deportation of the Galamsey Queen? Didn’t we see the son of the Minister for Environment fronting and holding permits all over the place? Where is he today?

What about the missing excavators? What happened to the minister of environment who was caught on tape intimating that the NPP party needed money so the party executives including their general secretary should be given concessions and some of the confiscated excavators to go destroy more of the forest and water bodies?

What happened to the allegations made by the late Sir John to the effect that those engaging in the illegal mining even after the ban were big boys in government so his office couldn’t do anything about it? Who in this country doesn’t know those who were engaged in galamsey? We know that the President, his government and the NPP put this agenda up to chase our local small scale miners and to takeover themselves so, what is the pretense about?

The New Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor and the Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah are all over the place talking law and theory, and pretending to be worried about the state of our water bodies. Were they not senior members of the first Akuffo-Addo’s government? Were they not supposed to be part of the first fight?

Until President Akufo-Addo comes to account to us about what happened in the last fight, Ghanaians have no reason to trust them again this time. If the President promised to resign if he failed in the first fight but, in the end was seen covering his appointees and pretending not to know, see or hear anything that was happening, who are the ministers deceiving this time around?

They are two outcomes I can foresee to be the agenda or part of it here; either the party executives and government officials who were given the permit to destroy our water bodies in the name of galamsey fight are satisfied with the cash made so far or the government as usual want to create yet another loop for another batch of appointees to also get their share.

If not utter disrespect to the sensibilities of Ghanaians, and if not that the Ghanaian is also interested in sweet talks, how come the very people who promised you first but failed would come back to make same promises and making it sound like they never did anything wrong? Who has taken responsibility for the last mess caused? Almost all rivers including the white and black Volta in Yapei and Buipe are affected by this mess. Should we just forgive them?

President Akufo-Addo and his appointees should show a bit of respect to Ghanaians for once!

28th April, 2021.