Dr. Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, Member of Parliament (MP) for Wa Central Constituency, has called for the involvement of well-meaning Ghanaians in the ongoing discussion on the Professor Frimpong Boateng’s report on illegal mining otherwise known as galamsey.
He said the public could contribute meaningfully to the discussion through the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) saying, “It is the worst we have ever seen in which the watchman has become the thief himself.”
He also added his voice to calls for Parliament to set up a by-partisan investigative adhoc committee while the government set up a committee of inquiry to probe the matter to bring it to a logical conclusion.
Dr. Pelpuo, who was a Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee, made the call in Wa in a press conference on the Prof. Frimpong Boateng Inter-Ministerial Committee Report on Illegal Mining.
The Prof. Frimpong Boateng report, submitted to the government about two years ago, cited key government officials including Mr Gabby Otchery Darko, Mr Kwadwo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister, and Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, Senior Minister among others as involved in the illegal mining activities in the country.
Dr. Pelpuo said he could not fathom why the President had earlier made a public announcement about his determination to fight against illegal mining but seemed to rather be doing the exact opposite.
“It has become truly difficult to call on the same suspects to set up any investigative body to look more deeply and more closely into this matter”, the MP asserted.
He observed that the purported involvement of state functionaries in illegal mining was disrespectful to the country’s democratic credentials and urged the President not to interfere with the investigations.
“As the minority group in parliament, we wish to register our utmost disgust and revulsion in the government for its involvement in the operations of illegal mining and the illogical denial of the indefensible facts.
We also urge the president to desist from his normal interference in issuing statements to clear his functionaries of wrongdoing doings when they are caught pants down in certain illegal practices”, Dr. Pelpuo said.
He indicated that the Government’s reaction to the report after holding it for more than two years was “absurd and irritating”, that rather than addressing the substantial issues in the report “It brazenly tried unconvincingly to point out that the report was not properly addressed to it.”
“It is our considered view that if the government were any committed and serious government, some practical actions should have been taken to address the very serious issues pointing at its own involvement despite any feeling challenges in the presentation of the report.
Indeed we expected that some individuals should have resigned from office and some further investigations should have been done to assure the people of Ghana that they are walking their talk”, Dr. Pelpuo said.