President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described galamsey as an “evil activity”, saying his resolve to put an end to it is in fulfilment of the oath he swore on 7 January 2021 to be faithful and true to the Republic of Ghana.
Galamsey is a localised word for illegal small-scale mining in the country.
The government has recently stepped up its fight against galamsey, especially on and by water bodies.
The administration has deployed soldiers known as Operation Halt, who are burning excavators of these illegal miners to the anger of a cross-section, of Ghanaians who argue that the excavators can be seized and used for other state projects.
But speaking at a sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of the Law Village Project in Accra on Wednesday, 26 April 2021, President Akufo-Addo called on Ghanaians, including those opposed to his approach of burning excavators and equipment used for galamsey, to rally behind his government to put an end to the illegality “rather than advocate the protection of non-existent rights of persons caught in this evil activity.”
He noted that the presence of chanfans in water bodies is illegal, as is the unlawful use of excavators in protected forest zones.
“The devastation caused by these equipment is nothing short of evil, and we should not compromise in our efforts to protect our environment, forest reserves and water bodies,” he added.
Nana Akufo-Addo stressed: “I say with all the emphasis at my command that no rights can accrue to or flow from the criminal venture of galamsey. The equipment, which is being used for an illegal or criminal purpose, cannot confer on the owner or any other person any rights whatsoever.”
He asked those against his approach to proceed to court.
“I know there are some who believe that the ongoing exercise of ridding our water bodies and forest zones of harmful equipment and machinery is unlawful and, in some cases, harsh”.
“I strongly disagree, and I would advise those who take a contrary view to go to court to vindicate their position if they so wish. That is what the rule of law is all about,” the President said.