Seasoned Journalist Kweku Baako Jnr. has been slammed by former Youth and Sports Minister in the erstwhile Mahama administration, Joseph Yamin for publishing in ‘The New Crusading Guide’ the latter has helped GPSC mining company to secure military protection to carry out illegal mining in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
According to The New Crusade Guide publication on Tuesday May 30, 2017, in spite of the collective national will to fight against the cancerous galamsey (illegal mining) menace, the Geo Professional Services Company (GPSC), a mining company in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region appeared to be enjoying military protection to carry out their illegal mining activities with the blessing of a deputy minister under the erstwhile Mahama led NDC administration.
“The [former] deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Joseph Yamin is reported to have requested for the military protection for the ‘galamseyers’ through the Regional Security Council contrary to the concerted effort by government and people of Ghana to bring an end to the cumulative effect of illegal mining business,” The New Crusading Guide reported.
“This heretic attitude of a [former] deputy Regional Minister was exposed by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in their attempt to defend the deployment of some of its men to protect Geo Professional Services Company who were caught operating illegally,” the Newspaper added.
“The assertion by the GAF as to who requested for their men on the illegal grounds was further ascertained by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah during an interview on Citi FM yesterday,” Kwaku Baako’s newspaper indicated.
Reacting to The New Crusading Guide publication on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show, Joseph Yamin slammed saying Kwaku Baako has an agenda, otherwise a seasoned Journalist of his calibre would not have allowed his newspaper carry this ‘unintelligent story’ with the caption “NDC’s Yamin Exposed . . . Over Galamsey Soldiers”.
According Joseph Yamin, the story which sought to malign him has misquoted him as the Ashanti Regional Minister Simon Osei-Mensah didn’t mention his [Yamin’s] name in his submission over soldiers giving protection to a mining company.
“The minister and I were on the same radio platform and nowhere has he mentioned my name as the one who went to request for the military protection for ‘galamseyers’ from the Regional Security Council,” he asserted.
“If he didn’t mention my name, why then is Kwaku Baako’s newspaper pointing accusing finger at me? I thank him for making me popular. The same story has been done by Citi FM without mentioning my name,” he averred.
He however asserted that Kwaku Baako exposed himself for the fact that he [Yamin] doesn’t know the mining company in question; thus, he does not remember meeting the company anywhere.
But he quickly added that he may not remember every document which comes to their ministry; throwing a challenge out to anybody with evidence to come forward to prove him wrong.
With his rich knowledge in the mining industry as a former leader of Anti-galamsey Committee in the Ashanti Region, Joseph Yamin explained that even though he doesn’t know Geo Professional Services Company anywhere, from the Ashanti Regional Minister’s statement, the company is into large scale mining; defeating the claim of its involvement in galamsey.
“I can explain why it happened that way but inasmuch as I don’t know them from anywhere, from the minister’s statement shows that those people are large scale miners and if so then they are not into illegal mining [galamsey] because large scale mining is not galamsey. So educate Kwaku Baako on that because I am sure he is listening before he makes some pronouncements,” he opined.
“I don’t know if it is an agenda against Yamin because I can recollect the things he has said against me on Peace FM about my involvement in galamsey. Kwaku Baako should know that there are differences among large scale mining, small scale mining and galamsey. Government is yet to introduce something we call medium scale mining,” he explained.
He elaborated that “galamsey is illegal activities in mining and the illegality is when a small scale mining company using excavator to do mining because small scale is not permitted to use heavy duty machines to do mining. Small scale mining operating close to 50km near a river is considered galamsey despite its legitimate to operate.”
Joseph Yamin averred that as GPSC is a large scale mining company, it is appropriate for it to seek protection from the state if its activities are threatened by illegal miners; thus it is an investment opportunity for the country.
“If Kwaku Baako wants to talk about mining, he should come for free tutorials on how to report on mining issues,” he jabbed.