[ 2012-06-25 ]
Osabarima Adusei Peasah IV (left) Tafohene welcoming Vice-President John Dramani Mahama to the Ohumkan festival at Akyem Tafo in the Eastern Region.
Stop illegal mining or face the law - Veep warns foreigners
Vice-President Mr John Dramani Mahama, has
cautioned foreigners involved in illegal mining
(galamsey) to desist from the practice or be made
to face the full rigours of the law.
He said the use of sophisticated machines,
including excavators and bulldozers, by the
foreigners was destroying the environment to the
detriment of the country.
“It is not acceptable for foreigners to be
involved in illegal mining and those who will be
caught will face the full rigours of the law
without any discrimination,” the Vice President
Speaking at the Ohumkan Festival of the chiefs and
people of Akyem Tafo in the East Akyem
Municipality in the Eastern Region, Mr Mahama
warned that “the Government will not continue to
sit down for any foreigner to come in and flout
the laws of Ghana.”
The festival is celebrated to pray for a harvest
of more yams in the area. This year's festival was
held on the theme: "Peace: A Vital Tool for
Vice-President Mahama noted that initially, it was
only Ghanaian youth who were involved in illegal
mining, using pickaxes and shovels to mine.
Unfortunately however, he said, some foreigners
with capital and investment were coming to the
country and giving sophisticated machines such as
bulldozers and excavators to the youth to mine.
“And if you look at the destruction they are
causing to the environment, the government cannot
continue to sit down and let this happen,” he
To curb the menace, he gave the assurance that the
government, together with traditional leaders,
would come up with a plan on how best to stop
foreigners from mining illegally in the country.
The Vice-President said since no Ghanaian could go
to other countries to flout their laws, the same
way “no foreigner can come in to flout the laws of
the host country”.
Concerning peaceful existence among Ghanaians, the
Vice-President charged the various traditional
authorities to not discrimate against the other
tribal groups living in their respective
He said Ghana was a unitary state and thus
Ghanaians had the right to move and live in any
part of the country.
He said Ghanaians, by their culture, were known to
be accommodating and asked them not to allow
xenophobia in their dealings with one another.
Mr Mahama expressed worry at the increasing
chieftaincy conflicts in the country.
He said some people who were not entitled to be
chiefs were fighting for such positions because of
control over land and other resources.
He, therefore, urged traditional leaders to adopt
strategies on how to reduce or end chieftaincy
Mr Mahama underscored the need for Ghanaians to
stand for peace during and after the December 2012
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Victor Smith,
said there was the need for the people to support
the government to execute its projects under the
Better Ghana agenda.
He urged chiefs to commend governments for good
work done and criticise them for poor performance,
instead of allowing themselves to be gagged by the
arguments that chiefs were not supposed to engaged
The Tafohene, Osabarima Adusei Peasah IV, stressed
the need for Ghanaians to coexist peacefully,
since the country needed peace to develop and
satisfy the needs of all.
Funds were raised for the construction of a
community development centre in the area.
On behalf of the government, the Vice-President
donated GH¢5,000 while Mr Smith donated 1,000 bags
of cement amounting to GH¢20,000 towards the
Mr J.B. Dankwa, an aspiring Member of Parliament
for the area, donated GH¢10,000 while other people
made various donations toward the project.
Source - Daily Graphic
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