Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, has said that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's meeting with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and chiefs on the fight against illegal small-scale mining (‘galamsey’) will have no impact.
According to him, the meeting will have no effect because the president has all the powers needed to fight the menace but has chosen not to use same.
Speaking in a Joy News Interview monitored by GhanaWeb on Wednesday (October 5), Kofi Bentil added that the president organised the meeting just to show that he is doing something in the fight against ‘galamsey’.
“It (the meeting) will not make any difference. It is the president that has all the power. So, when you have the power to do what you need to do and you go round suggesting that you are seeking the assistance of other people, who do not have any power or don’t have any real power to deal with the matters, it is just window dressing.
“I think he wants to show some activity. Activity is not necessarily progress. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is going to yield anything,” he said.
Kofi Bentil further stated that chiefs and MMDCEs whom the president met might be involved in ‘galamsey’ and they will not be putting in the needed efforts or help with the needed information to stop it.
He added that the president needs to call for a state of emergency if he truly wants to stop ‘galamsey’.
“That is why again I go to the call of Occupy Ghana to impose a state of emergency. The president can actually impose a state of emergency and go to Parliament even after the fact or can go to Parliament and request that it should be imposed now. If he doesn’t do it then he doesn’t want to do it because he can do it,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo, during his meeting with chiefs and MMDCEs in Kumasi, urged chiefs across the country to get themselves involved in the fight against illegal small-scale mining since they are the custodians of lands in the country.
“80 percent of the lands in this country continue to be under your custody, much of it having been acquired through the blood and sacrifices of your ancestors. The remainder of 20 percent which I hold in trust of the people of Ghana, derived from state acquisition from you.
“What this means is that ultimately, the welfare of the state of the lands is our joint responsibility, although by statute the minerals in the soil belong to the president in trust for the people,” he noted.