Ghana’s immediate past High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa, Mr George Ayisi Boateng, has suggested to the government to adopt ‘shoot to kill’ strategy, if the nation is to win the galamsey war.
According to him, any party member or official who engages in illegal mining should be considered as an enemy of the state and by extension Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration, and should equally be crushed without any fear or favour.
Justifying his call for illegal miners to be shot by the galamsey Task Force in an interview with The Chronicle in Kumasi recently, the NPP founding member likened the battle against illegal miners to a one where troops have been deployed to bring home nothing but success.
In such situations, he argued that “a certain degree of casualties are allowed in the battle field, until your opponents surrender to the superiority of your force.
“This fight”, he said “ought to be fought with all the forces at our command until the ultimate goal of success is achieved.”
He called for serious re-enforcement so as to make the galamsey fight a continuous activity until the dignity of our river bodies are restored and the sanity of our forest zones are rejuvenated to give the soil a natural fertility and to sustain our forest vegetation.
He maintained that the galamsey fight is a “must win” agenda being pursued by the government and nothing should be done to derail the efforts set in motion by the president, emphasising that members of the New Patriotic Party have the choice to either stay away from illegal mining or be crushed by the anti-galamsey Task Force put together by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
Commenting on President Akufo-Addo’s declaration for aggrieved parties to resort to the law courts if they disagree with the government’s method of operation, the former High Commissioner said the position of the president was not only appropriate, but it is also an affirmation of the stance of a president who has unquestionable records of human rights credentials.
According to the envoy, the President is mindful of the supremacy of the country’s constitution and, therefore, wishes to be measured by the dictates of the rule of law.
He described as opportunistic the attitude of some party members who hold the view that they must make money by fair or foul means, on the basis that their party is in power, without due regard to the illegality or otherwise of their actions.
Mr. Ayisi-Boaten said the fact that the first fight against galamsey in the president’s first term did not yield the desired results suggest that there is an urgent need for a change in the approach, since the quest for success in the galamsey fight is not open for negotiation.
Touching on whether or not the state stands to win the galamsey war, the vibrant and tough-talking Ayisi Boateng did not mince words in concluding that the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapo, is the eye of the president who has so far demonstrated a high level of commitment in helping the country’s rivers and water bodies to regain their past glory.
From C.K. Clement, Kumasi