Galamsey fight: I have never regretted gambling my presidency – Akufo Addo

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has defended his decision to put his presidency on the line against the illegal mining [galamsey] fight whiles seeking re-election during the 2020 general election.

According to the president, he has never regretted the decision because his government remains committed to curbing the menace.

The President is on record to have stated in 2017 that he was not going to relent in the fight against the galamsey menace.

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“I have said in Cabinet, and perhaps this is the first time I am making this public, that I am prepared to put my presidency on the line on this matter,” President Akuffo Addo said.

However, despite the persistence of the practice amidst the fight, the president indicated that his previous statement was “neither bombastic nor recklessness” but was the “simple truth.”

The president reiterated this in his keynote address during a meeting with the National House of Chiefs at Manhyia, Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

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“Since I took office on the 7th of January 2017, nearly six years ago, I have made it the central feature of my presidency, to lead the efforts to rid our country of this menace, which we all now call galamsey. Indeed, it was an important aspect of my inaugural address of that day.

“It has not been easy, it has not been popular, and we have not got the immediate results that I was looking for. Indeed, in the last elections of 2020, my stance on the issue cost my party and I significant losses in the mining communities.

“It turned out that my statement that I was putting my presidency on the line in the fight against galamsey, was neither bombastic nor recklessness; it was the simple truth”, the president said at the gathering.

He further bemoaned that several measures put in place to eradicate the practice by his government in the past six years have not worked.

“We have tried many initiatives, including that of the community mining scheme and the establishment of the new legal regime for dealing with the perpetrators of this phenomenon, which has imposed severe sanctions on those Ghanaians and foreigners convicted of illegal mining but still, we have not won the fight.”

President Akufo Addo admitted, “It is obvious that if we are to win the fight, you [chiefs] and I are to take the lead to collaborate closely to do so and that is why I’m here today.”

To that effect, he indicated engaging another half of local government – the metropolitan, municipal, and district executives in the 90 metropolitan, municipal, and district areas across the country where mining activities take place, to seek their active collaboration, too.

“There are many requests I intend to make in the closed-door session of our meeting but one of the most significant, which I have to state now, is to seek your assistance to take partisan political interest out of the fight against galamsey”, he mentioned.

“It can only succeed if it is a truly national battle which no one seeks to exploit for political gain as we saw in the last election. The progress of our country depends on all of us; all citizens of Ghana, all fellow Ghanaians, pulling together to defeat this existential threat to our future”, the president rallied.

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