The Flagbearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama has indicated his readiness to grant amnesty to convicted small-scale miners, popularly known as galamseyers if given the nod on December 07.
According to him, “our youth have been imprisoned for their involvement in galamsey, but it is surprising that a Chinese national and galamsey queen was arrested for the same crime and later freed and repatriated to her country.”
Mr Mahama who could not fathom why the Government set free a Chinese galamsey queen, Aisha Hunag, but rather imprisoned poor citizens of the country.
“This is unacceptable, and I will ensure that if I come back to power, those convicted of galamsey will be granted amnesty”, he emphasized.
The former President made the declaration at Adum-Banso in the Mpohor Constituency, when addressing a durbar of Chiefs and people of the area as part of his five-day tour of the Western Region.
He promised to get galamsey operators back to the fields to work in a more controlled environment as captured in their People’s Manifesto and also fix the deplorable roads in the area.
Meanwhile, the Western Regional Minister Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has explained that the contract was taken from the former contractor who had delayed the project and given to Josmoh Construction Limited who started work on the road.
The Mpohor constituency is known for galamsey operations.
Deep in the forest, along the Pra River, the illegal miners undertake their alluvial mining, thus damaging aquatic life.
Over the past year, hundreds have been arrested by the District Anti-galamsey Taskforce, yet the illegal activity persists.
Recently, six people died of galamsey activities when a pit they were working in caved in on them.