Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has condemned President Akufo-Addo’s justification of burning excavators as deterrence for persons engaged in illegal mining.
The Tamale South MP said the directive is in excess of the powers of the President and a breach of the Laws of the state.
Mr Iddrisu was speaking at a press conference organized by the minority caucus in Parliament, Wednesday, June 2, upon resumption from recess.
During the address, he described the directive as an abuse of the rights of citizens, stating that the President is denying victims their “right to ownership.”
The comment follows President Akufo-Addo’s response to critics of the government’s newly adopted method of dealing with illegal mining in the country.
The President at the sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of phase one of the Law Village Project of the Ghana School of Law, on May 26, 2021, justified the burning of the excavators.
He said he disagreed with assertions by some Ghanaians that the ongoing exercise of ridding water bodies and forest zones of harmful equipment and machinery is unlawful and, in some cases, harsh.
He, therefore, charged persons who wish to challenge the decision of the government to proceed to court.
But in response, the Legislator insists that President Akufo-Addo has no mandate to order the burning of excavators.
“The Constitution has not clothed any President with powers to burn excavators [and] the President is accordingly reminded that his powers under the constitution are subject to the laws of Ghana and subject to respecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of Ghanaians including the right of any Ghanaian to own an excavator [which falls under] the right to ownership,” he said.
The Minority leader made some recommendations and mentioned areas that can be focused on to fight against illegal mining.
He proposed that if persons who own the excavators cannot be identified, they must be traced through the ports.
“Go to the port to find who brought in the excavators and probably to improve it, we should now add that any person clearing an excavator must sign an undertaking that it will not be used for purposes of illegal mining,” the Minority Leader concluded.