Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission (FC), is apprehensive government effort to rid forest reserves of illegal miners could be crippled by some powerful persons in society.
Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie popularly known as ‘Sir John’, says despite the successes chalked by the galamsey fight, some persons arrested for engaging in illegal mining [galamsey] in the country’s forest reserves are back to business thanks to some people controlling the system.
He cited the recent case where some persons together with some soldiers, were arrested for unlawfully engaging in galamsey activity in the Aprapraman forest reserve in the Ashanti region.
“Somebody with authority higher than mine, I’m sure, rang whoever they wanted to ring and said that these were inter-ministerial soldiers or whatever they call them and said that they were there…,” he said on PM Express on JOYNEWS on Tuesday.
“My Minister [Lands Minister] is aware; I’ve spoken to my Minister about that,” he told the host of the programme, Evans Mensah.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2017, put his presidency on the line with a commitment to end the illegal small scale mining popularly called galamsey in Ghana.
“We all know that we have been in difficult times and times like these there is need to keep body and soul together. Every man has a duty to provide for the family and sometimes use every means possible.
“But there are things we can’t just allow to happen and one of them is the abuse of our heritage,” the president told a gathering of chiefs in July 2017.
Subsequently, the government’s Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCM) was constituted and commissioned to lead the anti-galamsey fight.
The committee is chaired by Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) Minister, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng.
The committee also has representation from Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Chieftaincy & Religious Affairs, Regional Re-Organisation and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, Water and Sanitation, Interior, Defense and Information.