The youth wing of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said it is bewildered by the comments made by President Nana Akufo-Addo in a speech that seems to endorse the destruction of seized excavators involved in illegal mining popularly known as galamsey.
â€œWe find this development worrying and an affront to reasonable expectations, that in 2021, the only solution available to tackle galamsey is the burning of excavators. Excavators do not have a mind of their own, they are operated by humans, when you deal with the human factor, you deal with the problem,â€ the youth wing of the party said in a statement issued on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
The NDC youth believe the President has chosen to remain on the fringes of the real battle against illegal mining by picking and choosing his battles as it suits his political interests.Â
â€œAkufo Addo cannot use the destruction of mining machinery to deflate the issue of the missing excavators and the role his close aficionados played in the whole matter. His so-called hard combat must start from his own â€˜houseâ€™. The famous â€˜party hia sikaâ€™ business model adopted by members of his administration and executives of his party is what he must condemn,â€ the statement signed by George Opare Addo, National Youth Organiser, NDC, said.
According to the NDC youth, the burning of these excavators and other heavy-duty machinery merely constitutes another example of the â€œthoughtlessness and lack of innovation displayed by the Akufo-Addo led administration.â€
They believe the approach is lame and demonstrates the governmentâ€™s inability to take initiative in problem-solving, stressing that the issue of Galamsey must not be tackled in the arena of political rhetoric.
â€œBurning of these excavators and mining machinery will only deal with the issue at hand in the interim. It lacks the determination and the resolve to hold off galamsey operators in the long term. Every excavator has a chassis number registered in the name of a person.Â
â€œEvery Land that is being mined on has an owner. Letâ€™s trace and go after these persons and prosecute them rather than this lame and lazy approach of burning excavators. We urge all Ghanaians to pay little mind to the words of the President. The famous â€˜party hia sikaâ€™ business model adopted by members of his administration and executives of his party is what he must condemn. If he is so determined to crack the whip and save our environment, he must start from his own house,â€ the statement said.
The NDC Youth Wing said the Presidentâ€™s speech must not be taken lightly because it is an endorsement of lawless behaviour without recourse to Ghanaâ€™s laws.Â
â€œThe law does not say burn them, so for a lawyer who happens to be President to ask that excavators are burnt is unbelievable, and rightly so because he knows the courts will not go contrary to his claims.
â€œThis is dangerous for our democracy if our president can blatantly disregard our laws and prescribe his own form of punishment. Now he makes laws for us and he can amend the laws of Ghana,â€ the statement stressed.
The NDC Youth Wing says galamsey is a multifaceted problem that must be tackled innovatively.Â
The NDC youth say the solution is not the burning of mining machinery at illegal mining sites as these machines can be put to good use like reclaiming, construction of roads and buildings etc.Â
â€œBy this statement, we urge the Government to find reasonable use for the excavators instead of burning them. Young people want this country fixed and they deserve a government that is responsible in the execution of its mandate,â€ the statement admonished.