The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has expressed outrage at the wanton disregard for the laws of the land by Ghanaians, which has made many foreigners to take advantage and engage in illegal activities without any fear of the law.
Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, who was speaking at the official opening of the Eastern regional policy fair yesterday, used the recent clashes between the people of Manso-Nsiena in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region and some Chinese engaged in illegal mining in the area as a test case,Â arguing that the audacity of those Chinese people to come to Ghana to engage in such act was a as result of the complete breakdown of law in the country.
â€śHow can foreigners come to Ghana and engage in such illegalities and the security apparatus and the law enforcement agencies sit aloof for these people to destroy our environment and steal the nationâ€™s wealth which is held in trust of the people by the government?â€ť he queried.
He said the government could not blame traditional leaders for giving lands to illegal miners or galamsey operators because there were laws governing mining in the country.
He asked the government to ensure that minerals that were held in trust of the people were strictly mined for the benefit of Ghanaians and not any individuals
He therefore called on the government to be bold to arrest these illegal miners and prosecute them since it had been given the mandate and authority by the laws to hold all minerals underneath the earth in trust of the people of the country.
â€śGalamsey is killing the Eastern Region and it is the duty of the government with all the security apparatuses at its disposal to arrest such nation wreckers and prosecute them,â€ť he said
He stated that there were laws governing mining in the country and one could become a recognized small-scale miner if he got the appropriate permit from the Minerals Commission and his activities also monitored by the appropriate regulatory bodies.
He called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Minerals Commission and the security agencies to step up their monitoring roles and flush out these illegal miners who were causing havoc to the environment from the system.
Osagyefuo Amoatia said whoever flouted the laws of the land should not be spared so that Ghanaians would come to respect the laws of the land.
The Minister of Information, Fritz Baffour, who opened the fair on behalf of the president, said the Ghana Policy Fair concept had provided an opportunity for Ghanaians to have inalienable access to information with regard to the discharge of governmentâ€™s responsibility to the people.
â€śAccess to credible information by the citizens and their ability to make inputs into governmentâ€™s policies are in many ways the practical translation of a transparent and accountable government,â€ť he said
He asked the people of the Eastern Region, especially companies, to take advantage of theÂ Â four-dayÂ Â regional fair to network and collaborate with the various ministries, departments, agencies and municipal and district assemblies to help effectively harness the economic potential of the region.
The regional minister, Victor Emmanuel Smith, noted that among other things that would be looked at the fair are mining in the Eastern Region, prospects and challenges and food security in the region, potential and threats.
Â From Thomas Fosu Jnr, Koforidua