We will not back down on galamsey fight--- Nitiwul assures

We will not back down on galamsey fight— Nitiwul assures

We will not back down on galamsey fight— Nitiwul assures

The Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, has stated that, no amount of public relations gimmicks will get government to back down on its fight against illegal and irresponsible mining (galamsey) in the country.

According to him, the tendency where individuals and groups involved in such dastardly acts resorted to throwing unverified allegations at members of the team involved in the fight to demoralise them and confuse the public would not work this time around.

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“The media should help the people of Ghana to reclaim their rights. We should not help these illegal operators to play victims even as they are the ones robbing us of our rights,” he said.

The Minister who was addressing journalists on the third phase of ‘Operation Halt’ in Accra yesterday said he was upbeat about the fight following what had been achieved so far.

He said the fight was for all Ghanaians and we must all join hands and ensure that we sustain the fight and win it together.

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Mr Nitiwul explained that, in the first fight in which ‘Operation Vanguard’ was deployed for the fight, there were people who wanted them out and so fabricated series of allegations against them.

Mr Nitiwul said it was the same tactics they had employed this time around, but they would not succeed, adding “it is something that is going on now. They do and hire people to do massive PR so that government will pull out the soldiers but unfortunately, this will not work this time.”

He explained that, the soldiers had a clear mandate to clean the “asteroids of the rivers” and they would do just that and continue to monitor it with other security agencies in the country.

Mr Nitiwul said after a careful analysis of the last two operations as had always been the case, the third phase was launched and this time it was on the River Pra and its asteroids, River Offin, River Oda and the Birim.

He said the situation in the Eastern Region was quiet worrying because most of the devastation was being caused by licensed large scale miners, saying that in most of the instances, the mining companies had diverted the tributaries of the Birim River and were mining in the river bed.

He said it was important for all to know that, the soldiers selected for the operations were neither politicians nor part in the political decisions, stressing that “theirs is just to carry out the operations and in doing so they do not deal with political colours.”

He denied claims that the operations of the soldiers were targeted at specific individuals and groups.

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Mr Nitiwul said the third phase of the exercise involved 561 all rank officers drawn from the first, second, third, fourth and fifth infantry battalions as well as the 64 infantry battalion and the armoured brigade.

He said a total of 49 excavators, 228 Chanfan machines, 87 water pumps, one container, seven wooden structures and one pump action gun were destroyed.

He said the government would continue to wage a relentless war until the country’s water bodies and forest reserves were protected.

On his part, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor reiterated that the government was not against mining in the country, rather the fight was against illegal mining in water bodies and forest reserves.

“We encourage responsible small scale mining. Yesterday when we visited some of the mining communities the youth were excited about the crackdown, contrary to assertions that they were peeved,” he stated.

He noted that the youth did not gain anything from these illegal miners (just peanut) rather some big and rich people in Accra and some foreigners were the beneficiaries.

He said if small scale mining was regulated properly, a lot of the youth would be employed in legal mining companies and paid well in accordance with the labour laws.

Source: www.spotonnews.net

Written by Joyceline Natally Cudjoe

An Entertainment Columnist, Content Writer, Blogger, Novelist, Poet, and a Publicist. For business or story tip off, contact me on +233 24 646 6866 or email: spotonnews.net@gmail.com