According to Peter Bismark Kwofie, Executive Director of the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI), the fact that the report authored by former Environment Minister Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng remained hidden for two years before it was leaked could indicate that the contents of the report were intentionally kept from the public.
He claimed that the media reports about top officials’ involvement in illegal mining are not unusual or new.
He said that when these concerns began in 2017, the level of hostility to the fight against galamsey was high.
“The Frimpong-Boateng report is not new. As a think tank, we conducted various investigations and discovered that chiefs and politicians are members of the conspiracy. According to a CDD-Ghana study, some politicians indulge in galamsey during election seasons to raise funds for their campaigns. Some clergy, media personnel, and security personnel are among those involved.
However, political influence has grown. We notice that attorneys are now involved. It informs you that fighting galamsey will be incredibly difficult,” he continued.
He defined the war against galamsey as both political and economic, making it difficult for anyone to risk their presidency in the fight.
He stated that some political leaders are so powerful that dropping them is tough.
He also mentioned that the cultural factor and the role of chiefs in galamsey fighting cannot be neglected.
On the question of economics, he stated what the resolution would be in ensuring that people involved in galamsey are offered alternative livelihoods.
One of his disappointments was the report’s failure to identify anyone detained and prosecuted for galamsey.
He would have been relieved to learn that some people had been arrested and prosecuted.
He emphasised that while committing to fight galamsey provides hope, it is not the key tool in the struggle and that the president’s pledge to put his presidency on the line was political hyperbole.
He claimed that the administration had no clear policy in place to combat galamsey.