The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says it will not be shocking if the latest phase of the country’s fight against illegal small-scale mining fails again.
For him, it is glaring that the current mode of operation in clamping down the menace and the failure of state authorities to arrest and prosecute those involved in the illegality, is proof of the government’s lack of commitment to tackling the problem.
“It strikes me as really strange that in this entire galamsey fight we have not had one galamsey overlord, one real architect, an actual financier arrested and prosecuted. Isn’t that where the fight should have started from?”, the MP asked in a post.
The vociferous legislator, who is also a former Deputy Education Minister, advocated for the tracing of individuals believed to be funding and procuring equipment used in the unlawful act
He proposed the use of financial rewards to encourage whistleblowing in order to reverse the worrying phenomenon which he says is depleting Ghana’s environmental resources.
While asking all political parties in the country to declare “a zero-tolerance policy for party financing from galamsey kingpins at all levels, Mr. Ablakwa also asked institutions such as the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), to take a step further in its mandate, and go after suspected galamsey bigwigs.
“I am just thinking aloud on how the latest round of galamsey fight wouldn’t end up as a farce like all the others”, the worried MP added.
Below is Mr. Ablakwa’s full post
It strikes me as really strange that in this entire galamsey fight we have not had one galamsey overlord, one real architect, an actual financier arrested and prosecuted. Isn’t that where the fight should have started from?
We all know from the kind of sophisticated equipment at play that only a few moneybags can initiate a galamsey operation.
Instead of hurriedly burning excavators, shouldn’t we pay attention to their unique chassis numbers and readily available technology to track the real McCoys who imported or purchased them? It’s definitely not difficult to follow the ownership trail.
Is it not time to put out a handsome amount of money as a reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the “big men/women” behind the destructively criminal galamsey gang? Remember, those cloaked with authority over intelligence gathering say they do not know the real henchmen.
Also, in exchange for their freedom, shouldn’t we get the small flies we arrest at the galamsey pits to lead us to their real bosses? How many of them wouldn’t find this offer irresistible?
Where is EOCO to long begin following the proceeds of this organized crime by lawfully freezing bank accounts and identifying assets of suspected bigwigs linked to galamsey as we take sincere steps to smoke out the shadowy perpetrators-in-chief?
Finally, can all political parties in Ghana publicly declare a zero-tolerance policy for party financing from galamsey overlords at all levels? This ought to be strictly enforced with appropriate sanctions.
I am just thinking aloud on how the latest round of galamsey fight wouldn’t end up as a farce like all the others.
Only fearless truth and unquestionable integrity can be our saving grace. God help the Republic.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
[MP, North Tongu
Former Deputy Minister for Education