By Julian Owusu-Abedi
In spite of the collective national will to fight against the cancerous galamsey (illegal mining) menace, the Geo Professional Services Company (GPSC), a mining company in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region appeared to be enjoying military protection to carry out their illegal mining activities with the blessing of a deputy minister under the erstwhile Mahama led National Democratic Congress administration
The deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Joseph Yamin is reported to have requested for the military protection for the ‘galamseyers’ through the Regional Security Council contrary to the concerted effort by government and people of Ghana to bring an end to the cumulative effect of illegal mining business.
This heretic attitude of a deputy regional minister was exposed by the Ghana Armed Forces in their (GAF) attempt to defend the deployment of some of its men to protect Geo Professional Services Company who were caught operating illegally.
The assertion by the GAF as to who requested for their men on the illegal grounds was further ascertained by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah during an interview on Citi Fm yesterday.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Peter Amewu discovered this during a tour that some 15 soldiers were seen protecting the activities of the miners which he describes in Tontokrom in the Amansie West District.
The soldiers cited Lt. Col. Sebastian Abraham Arhin, Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion of Infantry, as the one who instructed their deployment.
But Mr. Amewu, stated that it’s only the companies under the Ghana Chamber of Mines’ umbrella that could enjoy the benefit from military protection and therefore “deploying those soldiers were not part of the agreement. The agreement with the soldiers is an MOU [Memorandum of understanding] entered into by companies that are collectively under the Chamber of Mines.”