The opposition National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament for Bongo Constituency, Edward Bawa has strongly argued that the inability of the state to fight the menace of illegal mining is as a result of the deep involvement of politicians.
According to the Member of Parliament’s Energy and Mines Committee, Ghana’s inability to tackle and fight the activities of illegal mining is because politicians are the key drivers and beneficiaries of the illegal mining activities.
Mr. Bawa also bemoaned at the high rate of corruption that has engulfed the fight against the activities of illegal mining in the country.
“Every literature you review particularly in the case of Ghana, they only indicate that this crusade will not succeed until you deal with the political drivers of the problem. The issue about the fact that when you are in opposition, you seem to be promising the illegal miners that when you come to power, you will provide safe haven for them to continue their activities. The issue of politicians being deeply involved in the illegal mining activities and the issue of corruption are zalarming”.Edward Bawa
The Bongo legislator further accused President Akuffo-Addo for failing to act timely on Professor Frimpong Boateng’s Report. He questioned why President Akuffo-Addo has refused to state his position on the Professor Frimpong Boateng’s report since its submission in March 2019.
He believes the silent posture of the President on such an important report confirms the lack of commitment on the part of President Akuffo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party administration to fight the activities of illegal mining in the country.
“This report was authored in March 2019 and presented to the Presidency at the instant of the Chief Director at the Presidency, but nobody knew about this report until March 2023 that Professor Frimpong Boateng hinted about the existence of the report and that was how the police came in to it. You have some of your appointees either frustrating the work of the committee or they were involved in cover-ups, what did you tell Ghanaians when you received that report?Edward Bawa
Edward Bawa Accuses AG For Acting Premature
The Member of Parliament’s Energy and Mines Committee also criticized the approach the Office of the Attorney-General adopted in handling Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s report on illegal mining in the country.
According to Mr Bawa, the Attorney General’s opinion on the matter was issued prematurely since the police have not thoroughly completed investigations into the allegations contained in the report.
He strongly asserted that the action of the Attorney General was a deliberate attempt to create gaps in the investigations in order to undermine the prosecution of the individuals captured in the Professor Frimpong Boateng’s report mainly due to their affiliations to the current administration.
“What prevented the attorney General to tell the Police to go back and do proper investigation and get him the necessary information before he issues his opinion. But for you to hurriedly issue an opinion and on other side stretched that they should go and do other things, I believe it is premature”.Edward Bawa
Meanwhile, Mr. Franklin Cudjo, the Founding President of policy think-tank, IMANI-Africa opined that he is not surprised at the opinion of the Attorney General since President Akuffo-Addo has already dismissed the findings of Professor Frimpong Boateng’s report.
The Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice has indicated that Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s claims in his report on unlawful mining activities in the nation do not provide enough justifications for the state to instigate legal action against those named in the report.
The Attorney General advice to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service stated that it could not suggest bringing charges against any of the people mentioned in the report.
The Attorney General’s opinions follow the conclusion of its study of a docket presented by the Police regarding the accusations made in a 36-page document titled “Report on the work of the Inter Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining So Far and the Way Forward,” prepared by Prof. Frimpong Boateng.