It has emerged that some members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) are mounting pressure on President Akufo-Addo to lift the ban on illegal mining known in local parlance as galamsey.
They argue that the party is losing popularity in mining areas across the country and could be detrimental to their electoral fortunes in the 2020 elections if the ban is not lifted.
Maverick Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong revealed this on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Tuesday.
The Akufo-Addo government in March 2017, placed a ban on illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.
This follows a wave of media campaign on the menace that has left many water bodies polluted and farmlands with deep trenches.
Interventions introduced by government among other things included the joint military and police force called Operation Vanguard who has arrested many culprits many of whom have been jailed.
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But dates for the lifting of the ban have been postponed more than three times. The government’s decision has over the period attracted a backlash from small-scale miners with operating license operating within the legal environmental requirements.
Many who have been rendered jobless have threatened to vote massively against the NPP in the 2020 elections.
However, Ken Agyapong on Ekosii Sen urged President Akufo-Addo not to bow to pressure.
In his view, it is better to save the water bodies and lands for posterity than to lift the ban on small-scale mining.
“I know NPP members are putting pressure on President Akufo-Addo to lift the ban on small-scale mining but I will encourage him to be firm. It is better to do one term and save our lands and water bodies” he stated.
The outspoken Assin Central MP maintained that there was no difference between small-scale and illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey and as such lifting the ban will be a recipe for disaster.
Ken Agyapong appealed to party members to put the interest of Ghana first than partisan interest.