According to Abraham Amaliba, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must apologize to the Ghanaian people for his failure to stop illegal small-scale mining (Galamsey).
The president was urged by Mr. Amaliba to acknowledge that the circumstances have overwhelmed him.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 on October 8th, Mr. Amaliba referred to the meeting that President Akufo-Addo had with the National House of Chiefs and a few Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) on October 5th in Kumasi as being pointless because numerous meetings of this nature had been held in the past without resolving the issue.
He claimed that the president was a pretender who had given the impression that this was the first time he had heard about these shady issues.
He stated, "The meeting at Manhyia was a useless closed-door meeting with the chiefs," and added, "The president has failed in one of his duties; he should apologize to the people that he intended well but he has been overwhelmed."
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged that the battle against Galamsey has not been simple during the meeting with the Chiefs.
He claimed that despite not getting the desired outcomes in the fight, the government is committed to eradicating the threat.
Since taking office, I have made it a priority of my presidency to spearhead efforts to rid our nation of the threat that is now collectively known as galamsey. During a meeting with the National House of Chiefs and the Municipal, Metropolitan, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) on Wednesday, October 5, in Kumasi, Mr. Akufo-Addo stated that it had not been well-received and that the desired outcome had not been achieved.
He added that the government and the traditional authorities share responsibility for the task of protecting the lands and the environment from the effects of Galamsey.
According to Mr. Akufo-Addo, the chiefs are in charge of 80% of the lands in Ghana.
This implies that they have a responsibility to safeguard the resource, he said.
According to him, you still hold custody of 80% of the nation's lands, many of which were obtained through the blood and sacrifices of your ancestors. The 20% that I still retain on behalf of the Ghanaian people was obtained by the state from you. This means that even though the president technically owns the soil minerals in trust for the people, in the end, the welfare of the state of the lands is our joint responsibility.
On their part, the chiefs assured Mr. Akufo-Addo that they fully support his administration's decision to take appropriate action against anyone involved in galamsey in the nation.
Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyeb, President of the National House of Chiefs, stated that the National House of Chiefs are determined to support the President and government in their fight against galamsey because it threatens the country's ability to generate revenue and has a negative impact on the environment.
In Ghana, especially among the chiefs, "your relentless campaign against forest degradation and illegal mining is of great importance," he declared.
The impact of illegal mining on the environment jeopardizes the survival of water bodies, farmlands, the cocoa industry, and even promotes school dropouts, undermining the nation's efforts to increase revenue.
In light of this development, "the Chiefs are firmly behind your administration to apply the appropriate sanctions against persons who are engaged in the practice of illegal mining, regardless of their status."
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