#NoToGalamsey:The pledge to put my presidency on the line wasn’t bombast or recklessness – Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo has stood by his declaration to put his presidency on the line in the fight against illegal mining popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
According to him, he was being truthful when he made that proclamation in 2017.
Some Ghanaians in recent times have come to believe that the President Akufo-Addo was merely paying lip service when he declared that he was ready to put his presidency on the line for the ‘galamsey’ fight.
The group argued that if the President really meant what he promised, he would have resigned considering the extent of damage ‘galamsey’ has caused to the nation. In their view, the menace has only worsened under his watch.
But addressing these concerns during a meeting with National House of Chiefs and MMDCEs, the President said he was being honest.
According to him, his determination to rid the country of ‘galamsey’ has come at a cost to his party.
He, however, insisted that the declaration was “neither bombast nor reckless” but one that was a “simple truth.”
“Since I took office on January 7, 2017, nearly six years ago, I have made it a central feature of my presidency to lead in the effort to rid our country of this menace. Indeed, it was an important aspect of my inaugural speech of that day. It has not been easy and we have not got the immediate result that I was looking for.
“Indeed, in the 2020 election, my stance on the issue caused my party and I significant loses in the mining communities,” he said on Wednesday.
Government has been fighting illegal mining for many years, but the efforts and investments have all proved futile.
Five years ago, the Akufo-Addo government launched a joint Police and soldier taskforce named ‘Operation Vanguard’ to rid the country of illegal miners.
It was during the launch that the President made his famous statement, “I am prepared to put my presidency on the line on this matter.”
Despite the massive public support, the impact of the operation was minuscule.
Fast forward to 2019, the government established ‘Operation Halt’ to end the illegal exploitation of another natural resource, timber, especially in the Brong-Ahafo and Western regions, and the unrestrained destruction of forest reserves because of illegal mining, farming and lumbering.
The operation was relaunched in 2022.
However, Ghanaians are skeptical about government’s commitment to the cause since a JoyNews investigative piece, Destruction for Gold, has uncovered that some NPP stalwarts are engaged in the act.
But President Akufo-Addo says his government is committed to eradicating the canker root and stem.
He stressed that traditional leaders should not relent in the fight adding that “we have to win the fight to save our environment.”
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