The Dean of the Institute of Local Government Studies, Dr. Frederick Agyarko Oduro, is calling for a complete ban on mining in Ghana until a workable safe mining solution has been devised.
“We need to pull the brakes and stop the whole process and ban everybody from mining and if it will take us ten years to devise a system that will make it workable for us, so be it. For now, I don’t see where we are going,” he stated.
Dr. Oduro made the call on TV3’s Saturday analytical show, the Key Points when the panel was discussing President Nana Akufo-Addo’s meeting with Chiefs, MMDCEs and Ministers in Kumasi to discuss the mounting scourge of illegal mining (galamsey) on the country.
He lamented that criminally minded persons who are involved in illegal mining and have virtually taken over the country will be excited to see the current political discussions because that is precisely what they are looking for.
He acknowledged the need for decentralizing the fight against illegal mining but stressed there is practically no question about the need for District Chief Executives (DCEs) to be actively involved in that process because they are legitimately responsible for the overall development of their jurisdictions and are in charge of security at the district level.
He said, “They are the chairpersons of the District Security Councils so they should be the first line of helping to overcome any challenge whether it is social or economic security challenge being foisted on us by criminal minds.”
“And one of my key fears in the whole galamsey battle is that if you have organised crime involved in any activity, one of the things they do is to seek to compromise everybody who could be a hindrance to their activity, and that is exactly what is happening.”
He stated that DCEs who are not compromised are subsequently intimidated by key political actors who are already neck-deep in the activity.
He argued that mining had gone on in the country for centuries and yet nothing good has been left for the country and rebuffed the argument of people’s need to have jobs.
According to him, people are involved in social vices like armed robbery and prostitution to put food on their tables but these activities have not been made legal.
He stressed that the same principle should be applied to illegal mining.