Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, has reiterated the Akufo-Addo administration’s resolve to win the war against illegal gold mining activities, even if it means losing votes in the 2020 general election.
The deputy minister was reacting to comments made by some illegal miners at the Akwatia Diamond Market in the Eastern Region who have threatened that getting them out of business will affect the fortunes of the NPP.
Several illegal miners have questioned what becomes of their livelihood if the government halts galamsey without any alternative for them.
“If collapsing galamsey will make you vote us out of power that is fine. We know there are well-meaning Ghanaians who will support us in this cause because we are doing this to save our future generations,” Mr. Owusu Bio averred.
“In 10 years time, we are likely to lose our water bodies due to your activities, so I want to state that the NPP government will not relent on its fight to stop galamsey now. If because of that you will vote us out of power in 2020, so be it,” Mr. Owusu Bio said.
The deputy minister’s comments come following the expiration of the three-week ultimatum given to galamseyers by sector minister for them to stop their activities or face the full force of the law.
The Akufo-Addo administration has also hinted of a comprehensive policy to tackle the menace and implement drastic punitive measures against people who connive to fund illegal mining activities.
The government’s responses come on the back of intense pressure from the media, civil society groups and Ghanaians in general for an end to illegal mining which is polluting water bodies and destroying farmlands.
Analysts have predicted that Ghana may soon import water if the trend persists. This is because a number of water treatment plants have been shut down because their source of water has been rendered useless due to galamsey activities.