[Audio] Wontumi snubs galamsey ban; set to return to mining site with $1m license

Bernard Antwi-Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi) is Ashanti regional NPP Chair

There seem to be some forces sabotaging the fight against illegal mining (galamsey) despite government’s commitment to eradicate the menace.

An audio intercepted by rawgist.com revealed how the Ashanti regional NPP chair was lacing his boots to flout the ban on mining activities in Ghana.

Mr Wontumi is heard on tape informing a gathering of NPP constituency executives in the Ashanti region that he had paid $1 million and was about to start mining again soon.

He is also heard hatching desperate measures to run affairs of the NPP in the region with proceeds from the galamsey business.

”… and Frimpong Boateng…came and they confiscated my excavators and not a single excavator was given to me. No one was even able to ask me to return to my site. I went to pay $1million only three weeks ago to renew my license to resume my mining business since that’s the only means through which I’m able to get money to take care of my people. I was denied access to work until I paid. Yet people keep ranting that Wontumi has secured a job. If Kofi Job has been able to secure a job, why can’t I?’’ he quizzed.

Listen to the Audio here:

In what seem to be a campaign, he assured party executives that he’ll help them retain their positions if they support his candidature.

In April 2019, Editor of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako revealed that some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are sabotaging the President’s fight against illegal mining in the country, adding that the process ‘is being challenged by party elements’

Mr Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, at his vetting, also explained that most often than not, party people and lots of big wigs make it difficult to fight illegal mining. Again, a former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Collins Dauda, has said government continued to suffer setbacks ain her quest to fight illegal mining because top executives at the constituency and regional levels were complicit in the act.

”…If you’re a government and you want to deal with illegal mining activities and you have your regional chairman deeply involved in it, your constituency chairman deeply involved in it, it’ll be difficult sometimes to call your regional chairman to order. Particularly if that regional chairman is so influential, that’s the angle I am coming from’’.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul says President Akufo-Addo will not hesitate to prosecute any minister of state arrested for engaging in illegal mining activities. He also added that security officials who also engage in the act in any way will also not be spared and will face the full rigorous of the law.

At a press briefing after an operation to clamp down on the activities of illegal miners on various water bodies in the country, Mr Nitiwul stated that the Akufo-Addo government is resolute in his quest to clamp down on galamsey.

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