Member of Parliament for South Dayi Constituency, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has chided the government for the recent modus operandi in the fight against illegal mining, calling it an illegality.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP thinks the government is using “illegality” to fight illegality.
“We agree that we are at a crisis point but let’s do things lawfully,” he stated on The Keypoints on TV3/3FM on Saturday, May 29, 2021.
He described the government as “confused” in its approach to the fight as it shifts from moving the equipment used in the activities from site to burning them at site.
“When you burn the excavators in the bush, you are creating an environmental disaster,” he observed.
His thoughts come in the wake of comments by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo about the burning of the excavators, urging disgruntled persons to proceed to court.
President Akufo-Addo said this on Wednesday, May 26 at the cutting of sod for Phase One of the Law School Village for the Ghana School of Law.
“I know there are some who believe that the ongoing exercise of ridding our water bodies and forest zones of harmful equipment and machinery is unlawful and, in some cases, harsh,” he said.
“I strongly disagree, and I would advise those who take a contrary view to go to court to vindicate their position, if they so wish.”
But Mr Dafeamekor said the president is torpedoing the tenets of the constitution by such a stance.
“You must use the law to remedy an illegal situation.”
The lawmaker recounted how President Akufo-Addo two years ago brought a bill to Parliament to declare as ‘tainted property’ any property used in the commission of a crime.
“Even in determining the taintedness of the property acquired, it is not the Executive, it is not the Jubilee House to determine that. It is the law courts.”
Also on the show was a Deputy Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Nyamah, who cited the Doctrine of Necessity by English philosopher William Godwin to support the remarks by the president.
To him, the talks about moving the equipment from site for use by the local assemblies do not wash because the illegal miners remove the control boards from the equipment and run away when they get wind of the presence of the task force.
Also, he said, the equipment got missing along the line. Therefore, it is important to burn them since they are rendered of no use, Mr Nyamah stressed.
But Mr Dafeamekpor insisted the president is overstepping his boundaries by his remark.