Illegal miners popularly referred to as galamsey operators will do anything even if it means losing their lives to ensure their source of livelihood is not taken away from them.
This is according to Security Analyst Dr Kwesi Anning who was speaking to Accra-based Citi FM.
“The Galamsey issue is not only disturbing not only in terms of destruction of the environment but also the raw numbers of people who are involved and their dependents who now feel their livelihoods are being threatened and are prepared and willing to die to defend their livelihoods and that is even what makes the issue more disturbing,” Dr Aning said.
He blamed the increasing rate of galamsey on the unwillingness of authorities in charge to deal with the issue. He also said politicians must also be blamed for showing little concern in such an issue.
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He said the Police has lost the power to deal with the issue and suggested that the military is used for such an activity.
“We have gotten to the point where the Police Service cannot evict these guys. It will need the military and it will need the military operation that is well thought out so that lives are not lost,” he suggested.
Dr Aning's comments comes after some irate illegal miners in Obuasi on Wednesday morning protested against government’s move to stop them from mining in their various mining centres.
The Minerals Commission has handed them a quit order for them to stop gold mining in the main operating area within the concession of Anglogold Ashanti (AGA).
But the demonstrators say they are not ready to move out of that area to a new place.
Many of them in their anger vandalised the offices of some political parties including that of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) amidst chants of “no galamsey, no votes”.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Ranking Member on parliament’s Select Committee on Energy and Mines, Edward Ennin has called the bluff of illegal miners who have threatened not to vote in this year’s election if they are not allowed to resume their mining activities in the municipality.