Punish soldiers shielding galamseyers – Ashigbey

The chairman of the Media Coalition Against Galamsey, Ken Ashigbey has charged the hierarchy of the Ghana Armed Forces to punish military personnel protecting illegal miners.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, in a media interview Monday accused some personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces of shielding illegal miners.

“We discovered that some military men are protecting some galamseyers. We saw two Russians and two Ukrainians who were operating under military protection. My understanding is that they have been operating for the past 25 years.

“And the military has been providing the protection as long as they been in business. Maybe the Ghana Armed Forces may not know that the people are working under their cover. The military will have to do the necessary checks before deploying men to provide protection for miners,” he said.

Commenting on the development Tuesday on Morning Starr Mr. Ashigbey bemoaned the alleged involvement of the military in the galamsey menace.

According to him, even though the hierarchy of the military itself “is not Okaying this. Some of their people are involved.”

He thus said he hopes that the military high command will take a cue from “this confirmation and start making sure that they start calling their people to action.”

He added:  “…The name of the game in all of this is prosecution, is conferment of our laws. When anybody flouts the laws of this country, we should ensure that we don’t act like spiders; it is only the small animals that the spider webs catche but the big ones break the web. We should ensure that our laws are stronger than that.

“The courts that have been put in place let’s make sure that it works. If it is the military who are going to use their own system…[there should] and after that we should…take them through our criminal court proceedings and ensure that they have the maximum punishment.”