NDC MP Chides Lands Minister For Citing Military In Galamsey Fight

The Member of Parliament for Adaklu Constituency in the Volta Region, Kwame Governs Agbodza, says it is dangerous for the Lands and Natural Resources Minister to accuse some personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) of protecting illegal gold mining concessions in some parts of the country, especially in the Ashanti Region.

Mr. Agbodza said the military is the most disciplined and well-behaved security service in the country, so such comment could be a disgrace to the GAF and also lose confidence the people of Ghana have in them.

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, had alleged on Monday that some military officers are offering protection for some foreigners who were illegally mining in the country.

Mr. Amewu was reported to have said that “the law enforcement agency, especially the Military are protecting an illegality and I think that it is time the truth be told. Most of the sites we visited today were heavily manned by the military command and I was wondering under what circumstances [were they undertaking this exercise] because my outfit had under no circumstance signed any contract with the military to protect that illegality”.

The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has as a result instructed the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Obed Akwa, to immediately begin investigations into the allegations.

Commenting on the issue on TV3’s New Day hosted by Jonny Hughes on Wednesday, the MP for Adaklu  said “all governments from Rawlings to the current President did something to fight illegal mining but this has been the biggest approach because the whole nation is behind the government.  But who should we trust if the Lands Minister is accusing the military?”

“It is terrible because they are the most disciplined institution in the country and I urge the president to call these two ministers to investigate the allegations,” he added.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP said “if it was not the efforts of all Ghanaians, the fight against galamsey wouldn’t have gotten to where it is now but the accusation is something dangerous and the government must sit up”.

On the “One-District, One-Factory’ policy of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government which is expected to begin in June, Mr. Agbodza said “[government] has no clue what to do because the basic things to do before the project have not been done”.

He argued that “these places need good roads, water, electricity, access, raw materials among others but they are all not in place, so how can u start in June?”

He added that there should be researches on all the places and what should be established but “all have not been done,” making it impossible for the project to begin in June 2017.

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