The governing New Patriotic Party has slammed ex-president John Mahama for criticizing government’s anti-galamsey activities.
The acting General Secretary of the party, John Boadu, says the attempt by the ex-president to incite illegal miners against the government is desperate and incredulous
“We, in the NPP, have always known that the former president is such a desperate politician who would do anything for political power but what we did not know is that, his desperation has reached this outlandish extent,” he said at a press conference Monday.
He was responding to ex-president John Mahama who at an NDC Unity Walk in Kumasi on Saturday stirred the hornets’ nest by accusing the government of using the military to hound and kill illegal small-scale miners.
While admitting illegal small-scale mining activities have an adverse effect on the environment Mr Mahama said the military intervention is never the way to go.
While in government he set up the anti-galamsey taskforce to fight the activities of illegal mining but the lack of political commitment rendered the taskforce ineffective.
As president in 2014, he told a durbar of chiefs and people at Dunkwa-on-Offin in the Central Region that he was not happy when the police and military chase out illegal miners, because they were into the business to make a living.
However, the president was quick to deny condemning the activities of the military who were part of the anti-galamsey task force at the time.
Through his Communications Advisor, Ben Dotsei Malor a statement was issued denying a story Myjoyonline.com had done about his galamsey comments.
On assumption of office, the Nana Akufo-Addo led government brought back the anti-galamsey taskforce under the Operation Vanguard agenda to stop all illegal mining activities in the country which are destroying the country’s environment and polluting water sources.
It appears the ex-president is not happy with the activities of the task force even though he denied condemning the activities of the same taskforce while he was president.
He told NDC supporters at the Kumasi Unity Walk the use of soldiers is not the way to go.
“As you stop illegal small-scale mining, at the same time you must put in a livelihood package so that as you are displacing people from illegal mining there is something else to do. But when there is nothing to do and you are just chasing and shooting them, that is not the way to go,” he said.
He said his government had plans of passing a new mining law to regulate the activities of galamsey but was voted out of power before he could implement that policy.
But the governing party is not impressed by the comments of the ex-president.
John Boadu said the ex-president on the altar of political expediency sought to erode the gains that the nation had made in the fight against the galamsey menace.
“It is most reprehensible, disgusting, repugnant and unbecoming of a statesman,” he added.
According to John Boadu, the ex-president having had the opportunity to govern is the last person to criticize the government on issues about galamsey because he looked on for eight years whilst the country’s environment was destroyed as a result of the illegal mining.