General News of Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Leading opposition party in Ghana, the National Democratic Congress has expressed disappointment in the Akufo-Addo government for letting ‘Galamsey Queen’ Aisha Huang off the hook.
According to the NDC, the Akufo-Addo led administration, by this action gives Chinese nationals the freedom and encouragement to engage in illegal mining whilst Ghanaians are punished for the same crime.
Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo, in an address to some Ghanaians abroad last week revealed that government discontinued the criminal trial of Aisha Huang (believed to be at the centre of many illegal mining activities in the country) due to the economic arrangement between Ghana and China.
He said, “…we have a very good relationship with China. Today, the main company that is helping to develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, a Chinese Company. With these kinds of arrangements, there are other things behind the scenes … putting that lady [Aisha Huang] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your economic problems. It is not going to make you or me happy, that’s not important”.
But reacting to the development, Communication Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi described the Senior Minister’s revelations as “disgraceful, reprehensible and make a mockery of the foreign policy and the much touted “Ghana beyond aid” mantra of the Akufo-Addo government”.
He added that the government is condoning ‘plain criminality’ and disregard for Ghana’s laws in exchange for money.
“The decision of the Akufo-Addo government to trade our our laws, our environment, our resources and our lives for the $2 billion Sinohydro deal – which by the way is not even a grant but a so-called barter arrangement in exchange of proceeds from our bauxite, is an insult to our sovereignty and dignity as a people,” he stated at a press conference in Accra.
According to the NDC the Akufo-Addo government has failed Ghanaians in the fight against illegal mining. The party urged president Akufo-Addo to overhaul the Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining which they say has been turned into an active vehicle for facilitating and promoting the menace.
They also called for a review of the president’s approach to the fight against illegal mining.
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