The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said that the fight against illegal mining, popularly termed galamsey, should be devoid of partisan politics.
According to the minister, the fight must be a ‘national one’ in order to completely understand the disastrous phenomenon and uproot it, authorities must stop politicizing the matter and deal with it upfront.
“We cannot come to grips with these issues if they continue to be politicized and exploited by political parties for their personal gains. It cannot be right in the face of all of these challenges for opposition party leaders to say, if you vote us into power, we will release all jailed illegal miners and allow you to mine,” he said during the 40th anniversary celebration of the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources (FRNR) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
He added that “likewise it cannot be right if ruling party leaders put their political or economic fortunes ahead of this fight. This fight must be above partisan politics. It must be a national fight and it requires our collective efforts to win this noble struggle of ours.”
Mr. Jinapor also blamed chiefs, DCEs among other authorities for being complacent in the fight to uproot illegal mining.
In his view, “no one can bring a chain saw to harvest rosewood in the forest or an excavator to mine in the bush, to work on river bodies in the community without the knowledge or passive approval somehow of the chief, elders, the assemblymen, opinion leaders and local authorities in the community.”
He thus, called for collective effort while calling on KNUST faculty to provide strategic and material insights into illegal mining among other relevant discussions on natural resources.