Freelance investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni says President Akufo-Addo has not been firm enough in dealing with illegal mining aka ‘galamsey’ in the country.
He said the President, at the beginning of his tenure, promised to end galamsey in the country even if it meant putting his presidency on the line.
However, after nearly the end of his first term in office, the canker still persists.
“I don’t think there has been any fight beyond the antics. Many of his promises have turned out to be a scam because once you decide to put your presidency on the line if you mean it, there are other things that you have to do,” he said.
Mr Awuni was speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show where he described the president’s fight as “a scam”.
He said prior to Nana Akufo-Addo assuming office, he [Manasseh] was very happy with the then NPP flagbearer’s promise to end galamsey in the country.
However, the progress of the fight, he noted has been hampered because of the involvement of “party people” in the fight.
“And this is not only in the area of ‘galamsey’ but quite the number of issues including the fight against corruption which he also was very instrumentally championing,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, before assuming office in 2017, promised to end galamsey in the country.
He introduced Operation Vanguard [a taskforce set up by government to combat galamsey in the country], as well as the Community Mining Program which is to ensure safe and responsible mining as part of measures to combat illegal mining in the country.
In his 2020 State Of the Nation’s Address to Parliament, the President lauded his government for achievements in the fight, though he admitted that there are still some challenges that need to be addressed.
However, he has been challenged by Mr Awuni who believes the fight has not been effective enough.
“It is very unfortunate that in 2020 we are still having this issue. I don’t think that beyond the words, the actions really spoke to the fact that this was somebody who wanted to put his presidency on the line,” he said.
“I expected that, when issues of corruption started, the involvement of party people which was a big mistake was going to be dealt with.
“Because, once you allowed the party people to take charge of certain critical areas of the fight, then it’s going to be difficult for the security agencies to deal with them,” he said.