I could hardly believe my eyes when I read this report on JoyFMonline:
QUOTE: President John Mahama has condemned the use of brutal force against operators of illegal mining. He told a durbar of chiefs and people at Dunkwa-on-Offin in the Central Region that he is not happy when the police and military chase out young illegal miners, who are into the business to make a living. He made the comment to a rapturous applause by the chiefs and people, who had gathered at the durbar, while on a two-day working visit to the Central Region….. After passing through one of the many galamsey sites in the Denkyira traditional area in the Central Region, the President was left disappointed with the extent of damage done to the environment by galamsey activities. UNQUOTE
My shock stems from the fact that the President was clearly speaking from both sides of his mouth at the same time. On the one hand, the President ?was left disappointed with the extent of damage done to the environment by galamsey activities.? But on the other hand, the President condemned the use of brutal force against [the galamsey] operators. He [said] that he is ?not happy when the police and military chase out young illegal miners, who are into the business to make a living.?
Now, I don’t know the exact words the President used ? I suggest that his office should issue immediately, an official transcript of what he said. I say this because I know our journalists can be lazy and incompetent. For instance, JoyFM could have told us exactly what the President SAID (which JoyFM presumably recorded!) instead of using such a woolly expression, namely, the President ?was left disappointed.?
You see, disappointment is a feeling. How could the reporter have known precisely, what another person, namely, the President, was feeling? Did the President SAY he was disappointed? If he did, why not report that? Or ? did the President express disappointment that galamsey was causing so much damage? Even if the reporter was trying to engage in what is called ‘interpretative reporting’, saying that the President expressed disappointment would have been more accurate than presuming that he was ?left disappointed.? I am making this distinction because I know that Mr Mahama’s Government is not above telling me that I had got ? or JoyFM had got ? what he said wrong.
Having dealt with any possible defence of the phraseology attributed to the President, I now come to the MESSAGE that the President would have conveyed to the people of Dunkwa-on-Offin. In my view, he would have left them with a mixed message: one ? that galamsey was causing damage to the environment and was therefore wrong. But two ? the perception that even though those who carried out environment damage through galamsey were doing something wrong, they should not be punished in the way the task force has been? doing.
The second message would have told the galamsey operators that their President did NOT look on their activities as constituting a heinous crime, in the same manner that the task force his own Government had set up and briefed, did. That is precisely why the President’s speech was greeted with ?rapturous applause? by the chiefs and people of Dunkwa-On-Offin. many of whom, it is suspected, ACTIVELY COLLABORATE with both Chinese and Ghanaian mining gangsters, in the destruction of the environment. People do not give you ?rapturous applause? if they think you are condemning their activities.
More importantly, how will the President’s speech be taken by the task force and its leaders?
Look at the words attributed to the President: [he] condemned ?the use of brutal force? against the galamsey operators by the task force. And again: [the President was] ?not happy when the police and military chase out young illegal miners, who are into the business to make a living.?
God Almighty! They are into the business to ?make a living?? Does the President of our country mean to imply that every way of making a living is justified or legitimate? Then why is he paying the police to arrest and prosecute thieves, who steal ?to make a living?? Why is the President paying the BNI and the CID to go after cocaine smugglers, who are also in their business ?to make a living??
I am certain, Mr President,? that the leaders and members of the task force you set up to combat? the? galamsey operators will be extremely dismayed to realise that their President ? the very man who set up their body and tasked them to use it to stop galamsey ? is secretly sympathetic to the galamsey operators, because he thinks they are only in the business ?to make a living.?? That realisation will make them press their feet on their brake pedals. Very hard. And our rivers and springs that give our people their drinking water, will continue to dry up.
Mr President, you are the chief law enforcement officer of Ghana. You embody the laws of the country, and if you do not know that the laws are there to be enforced against all law-breakers, including those who only break the law ?to make a living?, then I am afraid you do not understand the functions of the high office of presidency that you occupy.
That means you must resign for violating the Presidential Oath to which you swore, which was administered by the Chief Justice, and witnessed by the Parliament and entire populace of Ghana.
Or else be impeached by a Parliament mindful of its function to prevent you from assisting criminals to commit crimes in Ghana.
Crimes such as laying waste to the environment of Ghana, and destroying the water sources bequeathed to the people of Ghana thousands of years ago,? by Mother Nature.
Heinous Crimes that amount to potential genocide.
Such as galamsey operations that desiccate the environment and dry up the sources of drinking water of the Ghanaian people.