Security Analyst, Adib Saani, has expressed concern over the teething galamsey problem in the northern part of the country.
According to him, the galamsey happening in the north might be a great resource to terrorist groups. He revealed that it is unfortunate the government hasn’t succeeded in its fight against galamsey.
Mr Saani indicated that due to this menace, terrorists might also capitalise on galamsey and use it as a“big source of income” due to the possibility of engaging in mining, making money and using it to fund their terrorist activities.
“… My fear is also the fact that the galamsey happening in the northern part of the country might be a great resource to terrorist groups. Because in the past, there’s been arrest of some individuals and goods impounded in Ouagadougou containing fertiliser and dynamites that are from Ghana and were supposed to be meant for the mining site. So, the likelihood that dynamite, that is legitimately supposed to be used by the mining site, could be diverted into terrorist hands because of the unregulated nature of the mining sector, especially in the north.”Adib Saani
Mr Saani noted that on the face-value, government seems to be doing a lot, but on the ground, “we seem to be doing nothing”. He explained that in the midst of all the investments, operations and conversations on galamsey fight, there hasn’t been any significant result on the ground.
“Well, the President is well-intentioned, he wants the best for the country, it was a great step in the right direction to introduce those measures to fighting galamsey, even including the burning of excavators, which some human rights experts found to be illegal. But we still have these individuals at the mining site…”Adib Saani
Commenting on the arrest of Chinese nationals over galamsey activities, Mr Saani highlighted that it is likely that these same individuals are “recycled back to the galamsey site” even after their arrest. Law enforcement, he stated, is a problem as certain individuals with societal clout are engaged in it.
“I can say confidently without mincing words that if you’re a Chinese citizen engaged in galamsey, the probability of you getting freed even after you’re arrested is 99%. That is one of the biggest stumbling block so far as fighting galamsey is concerned.”Adib Saani
Abysmal efforts in dealing with galamsey
On his part, the Executive Director of West African Centre for Counter Extremism (WACCE), Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, described as abysmal, government’s efforts and ability to deal with the problem of galamsey. He revealed that there is a significant situation of complicity of individuals who are meant to solve the problem, being part of the problem, particularly within the local community, social structures, leadership, local leadership up to officialdom.
“… We seem to have normalised galamsey operation while we project an image of people looking to fight galamsey.”Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar
Mr Mukhtar expressed worry over the discoloration of water bodies and destruction of vegetative covers where galamsey operations are happening. He emphasized the need to address the problem holistically as “we are actually digging our own grave” and pretend to be fighting the problem.
“This is a serious issue that all of us have to take seriously. It should be considered as a national security matter that implores everyone’s effort to ensure that we solve the problem of galamsey. We are not seeing that, we are seeing episodic response to the problems of galamsey, organising and mobilising when there’s media highlight on the issue and when the media highlights whisks away we go back to normal…”Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar
The WACCE Executive Director revealed that the unregulated nature of mining in the northern part of the country bodes serious issues. He indicated that mining is rife in the north in the “almost ungoverned part of the country where state presence is limited”.
With this, he noted that this allows young and desperate people to engage in galamsey with measures only they deem fit.