Vicious Attack To Scuttle Galamsey Fight Out
It has emerged that the ongoing attack on the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, was deliberately orchestrated by some angry illegal mining kingpins, whose concessions were raided by the government’s anti-galamsey taskforce and their equipment decommissioned recently.
The kingpins also include some vicious small-scale mining operators whose licences have been revoked by government for engaging in irresponsible mining and their failure to renew their permits, the paper gathered.
The Anchor picked up information yesterday that the accusation against the deputy minister, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, that the Akoon Community Mining under his jurisdiction is linked to him and he is thus allegedly involved in illegal mining was simply a ploy to settle personal scores, scuttle the fight against galamsey and then push for his removal from government.
Prior to the accusation, being spearheaded by a discredited self-styled chief, Nathaniel Dekyi, from the Dompim-Pepesa traditional area, this paper learnt of plans to use some pictures and videos to splash in the media, purporting to be evidence of the deputy minister’s involvement in the illegal mining.
According to this paper’s information, the involvement of the self-styled chief to damage the reputation of the deputy minister was simply a smokescreen to shield faces of those actually behind the ploy, knowing very well the fake Nana Nyonwah Panyin IV of Dompim-Pepesa, his accuser, is not in good terms with Mr. Duker because of a protracted chieftaincy dispute.
The Anchor is reliably informed that the so-called evidence being put together by the faceless individuals using the fake chief to get the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, to investigate the deputy minister is part of the strategies to discredit him in the eyes of the public.
This paper has learnt that, the MP has become a target for some galamseyers, together with their sponsors, particularly around Tarkwa, Bogoso enclave in the Western Region, as a result of his drastic stance and resolve against the illegal mining menace, leading to seizures and burning of some galamsey equipment in recent days.
But, checks by The Anchor revealed, the Akoon Community Mining, being linked to the deputy minister, happened to be one of government’s National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP), personally launched by President Akufo-Addo in November, 2021 at Tarkwa.
The concession, which was the first Community Mining Scheme was formerly operated by a company by name TARSK Mining Limited, based in Tarkwa, but had their licence revoked by the Minerals Commission after the company failed to renew their license.
This thus paved the way for government to take over the concession and converted into the Community Mining initiative, which had given employment to over 1,000 people from the predominantly farming community.
The takeover has since left owners of TARSK Mining Limited bitter against the MP and leading to some negative publications and media attacks against him, with accusation that the concession, now called Tarkwa Community Mining, belonged to him.
The Tarkwa-Nsuaem MP has repeatedly maintained his innocence that he has never been involved in any illegal mining activities.
According to him, the allegation is aimed at distracting him from his duties as MP and Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
“I do not own a concession, I do not have a concession, I do not invest into any mining of any kind and I am not into mining. Let me make that clear and I have said that time and again that mining is not done in a hidden place, it is done in an open place,” he said in a media interview.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued yesterday, October 11, he said, “My attention has been drawn to news publication item by certain media houses on my alleged involvement in illegal mining around Dompim-Pepesa in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality in the Western Region.”
He went on, “I wish to state emphatically that, I don’t have any links to the activities of any form of illegal mining anywhere.”
He indicated that, “These deliberate false representations made against me by a rival claimant to the Dompim-Pepesa Divisional Stool are needless, baseless, vain and unfortunate.”
“I must indicate that, the fight against illegal mining (galamsey) is a herculean task which cannot be won by just pointing fingers at leaders, government appointees among others at various levels in mining districts with the intent of tarnishing their image for political expediency and selfish parochial interest without any fact,” he said.
For him, “Government is committed to winning the war against illegal mining and calling on all stakeholders to support government in that regard.”
He has, therefore, urged the public to ignore the allegations and also instructed his lawyers to sue the self-acclaimed chief with immediate effect.
“I have instructed my lawyers to immediately sue the self-acclaimed Chief of Dompim Pepesa. Please ignore these baseless allegations,” he intimated.