I Have No Hand In Galamsey – Deputy Defence Minister
…Says, ‘I’ll Protect My Name With The Last Blood In Me’
By Gifty Arthur
The Deputy Minister of Defence, Kofi Amankwa-Manu, has categorically denied claim that he is neck deep in illegal mining, notoriously called galamsey.
According to the minister, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima-Kwanwoma constituency in the Ashanti Region, it is absurd for anybody to link him to illegal mining because he has never indulged in such an activity.
He maintains he will protect his name with the last blood in him and will not allow anyone to tarnish his name for what he has never done and will never do.
“Because there is one thing, I will protect with the last blood in me and that is my name. I will protect it with the last blood in me. If I have done that, I will own up that I have done it. I have never done that,” he stated forcefully.
The first-time parliamentarian is, therefore, daring anyone who has evidence of him employing people to work on his so-called galamsey site to come forward and expose him or desist from it.
The denial by Mr. Amankwa-Manu follows allegation in the media space that he is into illegal mining in his constituency in the Ashanti Region.
The MP and Deputy Minister was accused on Accra-based Asempa FM’s Ekosi sen programme segment called ‘Community Concern,’ of having a concession in the Atwima-Kwanwoma constituency purposely for illegal mining.
The MP’s accuser had called into the radio programme to level the allegation that he illegally owns the mining site, together with the District Chief Executive (DCE), where they have employed the youth to mine illegally on their behalf.
Even though the host, Philip Osei Bonsu, had sought to stop the caller for lack of evidence, he still made the allegation, regardless.
But in the course of the programme, the MP, who was on official duties in the Western Region, called into the afternoon show to clear his name.
Without mincing words, the MP vehemently said he will not hold such a position as a Deputy Minister and involve himself in such an act which the country is struggling to curtail.
“I don’t know the person who called into the show. There are two things: it’s either the caller doesn’t live in the constituency or he doesn’t know Amankwa-Manu very well. If we are talking about where galamsey is endemic and there is money, then it isn’t Atwima Kwanwoma.”
He explained further that, before he became MP, galamsey had been fought and won in the area by the former PM [Presiding Member]. “It was just recently that I heard that something similar to galamsey called kulikuli has started in the area.
“As a Deputy Minister, today that soldiers are fighting against galamsey, what is my business doing same? Then I have no right to be a Deputy Minister. As I speak to you, go to Twedie, our district capital, and see the number of excavators that have been seized and parked. If that is the case then as a Deputy Minister if soldiers are arresting excavators, then I can order them to stop. I can swear with my ten fingers and my head that, I have never done galamsey and will never do it.”
He continued, “The moment I decide to do galamsey, then where I work as a minister, I would have to quit. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a very principled person. The person who said that may not live there or just doesn’t now.”
While admitting the presence of galamsey, he said the military is also in the thick of affairs doing its best to curtail the situation.
He mentioned only two towns, Nwineso No 1 and Nwineso No 2, as where the illegal activity is being perpetuated, but said some six excavators have been seized by the military.
He said he is not that person the caller sought to portray, because even his MP’s Common Fund, which is supposed to be used for development by him, he has never touched it, let alone an act that has the potential to cost him his position.
“I will never do that for anything. I will never do that. If I had seen the person who made the claim, I will insist that he shows where I recruited the people to do galamsey on my behalf. I will let him say Amankwa-Manu, DCE this is where you are doing galamsey, then we will be dealing with the issue. But if we are dealing with hearsay, then we are going nowhere,” the Deputy Minister stated.