They urged the government to end the fire on excavators seized by the anti-galamsey task force, adding that the approach to tackling illegal mining aka galamsey is counterproductive.
The Ankobeahen of the traditional area of Twifu Atti-Mokwa who also serves as Odikro of Twifu Ntafrewaso, Nana Gyamera Akoto II told the central regional correspondent of the EIB network Yaw Boagyan that the Minister of Lands and Resources should explain the rationale of the madness of the excavators.
“As a leader, I think burning down excavators that we have invested a lot in is madness and should not be encouraged in this country,” said the leader.
He added that mining in his region, most of which is legal, has given employment opportunities to most of the young people in the central region, so the government must allow them to continue their activities.
Of the 25 excavators torched by the Task Force Against Illegal Mining Activities, fifteen (15) were in the central region alone.
A 3news report suggests that the excavators were burnt down in their owners’ homes in Ntafrewaso, Asamoah Krom and Awisem, all in Twifo Praso district.
The government has renewed its efforts to crack down on illegal mining, as the military has been ordered to destroy all excavators on site.
The president of the National Association of Small-Scale Miners, Alhaji Usman Musah, said six members of the Association were touched by the actions of the task force.
“They parked the machines in the house and the military came into the house to burn them down. I can send you the videos right away, ” he told TV3.
“We don’t know what’s going on. They don’t say anything, they don’t ask for anything, they don’t ask for a document, they used explosives to enter the house. They just throw the explosives and then they come in.
“We know that the people working in the forest and also working in the water bodies are the people we are talking about but now we are there!
“People are allowed to work in small-scale mining, but at the end of the day the soldiers entered their homes and burned their machines, we don’t know what’s going on. You have to ask the government what its problem is? Alhaji Usman Musah added.