The co-chair of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Dr. Steve Manteaw, has expressed his discontent with the way President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has dealt with illegal small-scale mining, often known as galamsey.
Dr. Steve Manteaw criticised the president for delaying the investigation into the 2021 report produced by Professor Frimpong Boateng, a former minister of environment, science, technology, and innovation and the former chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), in an interview with Neat FM on April 26, 2023.
“…a president who has sworn to fight against galamsey…a former cabinet minister has given you a hint on what is happening for you to take a step…but it seems that this president doesn’t care about anything.
And this is my greatest worry because, all that is going on under his government is a written history, which would not affect only him but the entire generation to come, and gradually this president is going down in history as the worse president we have ever had.
“When it comes to corruption, then he will say if you want to lay an allegation bring evidence, my brother we have state agencies that are in charge of investigations but as a citizen, if I give you thumps up about an issue, then you tell me to go and investigate and bring evidence, how?
If you are somebody who is serious, the moment you hear something you will let the security agencies take charge, you won’t demand evidence because you have people that we have paid to do that job,” he said.
Dr. Manteaw added that the President appears not to care about the negative impact of the galamsey activity on the environment and the nation’s sustainability.
He added that the President’s inaction may go down in history as one of the worst leadership failures in Ghana.
He also lamented the President’s response to corruption allegations.
“…when you look at the things that Frimpong Boateng said in his report, a lot of it bothers on time and national security, it bothers on the sustainability on the national environment, the environment in which our lives is sustained, my brother just look at our water bodies, and you claim that someone has brought a report and alleging some of your appointees are involved in galamsey, then you will ignore in the name of the person not passing through the due process, then you the president I believe you don’t know your work,” he added.
His remarks follow a response from the Office of the President to a 37-page report by Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, accusing some government employees and some top officials at the Presidency of engaging in galamsey and frustrating his fight against the menace as the former chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
A statement, the Office of the President indicated that the report was not an official report formally delivered to the presidency.
It described the 37-page report as an of personal grievances by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, intended to respond to some issues he faced as Chairperson of the IMCIM.