Opinion

Has Akufo-Addo been backstabbed in the Fight Against Galamsey?

To deepen his commitment and resolve to ending the cancerous menace of illegal mining, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in April 2017 inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM). For the sake of emphasis, the IMCIM was established to clamp down on illegal small scale mining which was causing havoc to the country’s water resources and arable lands.

As part of their mandate, the IMCIM was tasked to develop a comprehensive road map that was meant to give details of responsible mining. As part of this great directive, the Alternative Livelihood Programme was launched, of which some illegal miners received apprenticeship support at the Department of Community Development of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and other designated training centres. Again, the use of technology was employed through the use of drones and trackers embossed on earth moving equipment used at the mining sites. At this point, the government has sunk so much financial resources in the fight!

Whiles addressing a forum against illegal mining organized predominantly to get Ghanaian chiefs and other major stakeholders involved in the fight against illegal mining on July 10, 2017, the President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo further made a solemn commitment by putting his presidency on the line to end illegal small-scale mining business in the country. This was evident in the devastating effects galamsey was having on human health, the environment and the ecosystem.

I can confidently say that at this point, the country was making inroads in the fight against galamsey. Our water bodies began to take great shape as well as our forest reserves and other natural resource deposits.

However, and as fate may deem it, it was not everyone who was happy at the success chalked by the IMCIM in reclaiming our lands and in the fight against galamsey. Just as the drug cartel, there were unscrupulous people in this country particularly from the Corridors of Power who also swore heaven and earth never to allow the dust to settle down in this fight.

My understanding of a governance system is that, the essence of a political party is to serve as a vehicle on whose wheels a government strives and achieves the desired outcome in the interest of the people. Well, it appears the political party (NPP) had some greedy individuals who ended up sabotaging the commitment the President made to the Ghanaian people in clamping down the activities of illegal mining.

Giving the backdrop of all these, I honestly want to cure my neck-wrenching thirst by asking these relevant questions.

In whose interest was it to get Charles Bissue out of office?
I have listened and read commentaries from the likes of Kwame Baffoe ‘Abronye’ and Kenedy Agyapong giving detailed accounts of how certain venal and crooked individuals succeeded in getting Charles Bissue, who was the then Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) out of office. We are all witnesses to how meticulous and diligent Mr. Bissue was in the fight against galamsey. So why will an individual or group of persons decide to go on that tangent of doing everything to get him out of office?

Again, who among the NPP National Executives was pushing for the release of Aisha Huang when she was arrested and her excavators eventually seized? My checks ultimately revealed that, among the current NPP National Executives, someone vehemently pushed for the release of Aisha Huang who was nicknamed ‘Queen of Galamsey’ and her excavators released to her. Did they really know what the President wanted to do or they couldn’t just be bothered about it? So basically, they sat with the President, took decisions and stabbed him at the back thereafter. Interesting!

Still on my series of unending questions; is it true that Prof. Frimpong Boateng’s son, named Joojo Frimpong Boateng was also actively engaged in galamsey even when all small scale miners were asked to lay down their tools? Whiles at this, the son of the Chairman of the IMCIM was on site mining with impunity. What did Frimpong Boateng do about his son’s engagement in the illegal mining business? Was it the case of ‘Animal Farm’? Amazingly, the gentleman was posting pictures of himself with the caption, “the whole Adanse is mine, whiles at site, engaging in the illicit activities. I am reliably informed that, there was a BNI report on this subject matter. I curiously want to find out from the BNI (currently renamed and retooled as NIB) why they are silent on the report and even if they have submitted it, who did they submit it to? I’m just watching with an eagle eye! My ears and eyes are expectant of the outcome of the report. If not for anything at all, the report will chart a productive path for the country one day.

Again, wasn’t Prof. Frimpong Boateng the chairman of the committee for the entire 1st term as a lot of things started going wrong under his watch? It must be asked that how come our water bodies started settling better at the beginning of the fight till the latter part of the fight when everything worsened completely? Why did he have to throw in the issues of the missing excavators at that point? Are excavators little or minute items that we can just hide 500 somewhere? I believe with the efforts of the DVLA or the task force, we could have easily ascertained and verified how many of the excavators were indeed confiscated and how many were available. Was it the case that Prof wanted to paint and create an impression that he was ‘holier than thou’ or was it the case that Prof thought he could label somebody and assume his role as the life saver he thinks Ghanaians thinks he is. He probably thought it was just okay to say what he said so everybody will see him as the holier one, the heart surgeon, the life saver and fooling everybody to believe that that is who he is. Maybe it was a classical case of giving a dog a bad name and hanging it.

Again, I fervently want to enquire from Ghana’s CID the outcome of the missing excavators’ report. It has been over a year now, and nothing has been heard about it. I know the investigation has been concluded. So why the ‘loud silence’ in making the outcome of the report published? Are they by any means trying to protect the ‘good old prof’ and his tainted legacies?

Let’s continue with our of questions.
On community mining, I humbly want to find out from Frimpong Boateng, that, taking into consideration all the community mining sites he launched, how many were his and how many were even legalized and duly licensed? These were the community mining sites he went with the President to launch. By inference, it basically means Frimpong Boateng led the President to launch the 2nd phase of galamsey. This is simply because not even one of the community mining sites the President went to launch was duly licensed. We all agree that giving people the permission to mine without license, ID cards or records of miners is tantamount to the galamsey we are fighting to stop. I’m itching to find out if the President’s protocol did their checks well before allowing the President to go and relaunch Frimpong Boateng’s galamsey phase 2?

Again, are the rumors that Frimpong Boateng and his Special Assistant (Oliver Boakye) owned a good number of all the mining sites true? If indeed this is true, then isn’t it possible that those community mining sites they own can account for the same excavators that he claims were missing? I don’t want to believe this is supposed to be business as usual, where people speak about the wastage in the systems, wasting of tax payers money and our collective efforts only for someone who is supposed to be the ‘gate keeper’ end up making away with a ransom. Is that supposed to be our story?

Is it true that Frimpong Boateng has an eye and an ear (mole) in the person of Alaxander Gyadu popularly known as Odasani at the office of the Chief of Staff who leaks information to Frimpong Boateng on every step as far as the activities galamsey is concerned so Prof can cover his tracks? It will interest you to know that Odasani allegedly owns a concession at Akrofuom in the Ashanti Region, where every one in the town including toddlers know about it and can lead you there. It must be noted also that, Gyadu is currently courting a very good friendship with Hon. Abu Jinapor; the new Lands and Natural Resources Minister, draining information from him (the minister) to Prof and to protect his very own self.

It is worth noting that, Alex Gyadu is been used as a conduit at the Jubilee House to coordinate the work at the various illegal mining sites for Prof and his cronies. It may interest readers to know that, the people looking after these concessions and running the day to day activities at these illegal mining sites are Mike Gizo (PRO, Ghana Small Scale Miners Association) and Kwabena Boakye. These guys have concessions in Akatakyieso, Akrofoum, some part of the Eastern and Western Regions.

As we speak, Prof is currently pushing for the current Acting Minerals Commission CEO (Martin Ayisi) to regularize these concessions for them.

Interestingly, I am also heavily and reliably informed that a renowned alleged ‘galamseyer’ by name Martha Kwaayie is heading to the Forestry Commission as Deputy CEO? Interesting times ahead!
From the corridors of power (NPP Headquarters), can it be said that the only people that can be exonerated from the activities of galamsey are the 3 chairmen, the treasurer and deputy general secretary?

In the coming days, comprehensive details of information I have intercepted will be made known, but for now, did the NPP sabotage and backstab the President in the fight against galamsey? Your guess is as good as mine.

This is volume 1 and in the coming series, my pen will be writing a lot about these things.

Nana Kwadwo Boakye
Toase,
Nkawie District – Ashanti Region.

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