The Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, has alleged that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo knows the top financiers of illegal small-scale mining (‘galamsey’) in the country.

Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed (left), President Akufo-Addo (right)

According to Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, the National Security Minister and the other heads of the security apparatus in Ghana have told the president who the kingpins in ‘galamsey’ are.

In a TV interview monitored by GhanaWeb, on Monday, Murtala Muhammed alleged that the president has not caused the arrest of these kingpins because he is involved in it.

“The president knows those who are engaged in galamsey, some of them are in the Flagstaff House. The reason why I say he knows is that the president has breakfast (security briefing) with the ministers for interior and national security, every morning,” he said.

“He (the president) knows. He is an accomplice. The reason why I will say he is an accomplice is that he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces. He must take action. Now when you have leading members of your party who have been cited and identified, some of them captured on video engaging this and nothing happens, why won’t I say he is an accomplice?” Murtala added.

The MP also alleged that the president is aware of all incidents where the personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces were sent to provide security for illegal miners.

“Military officers were instructed to go provide security for Chinese who are engaged in galamsey. Who instructed them? The Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, the president, knew about their presence there,” he said.

He added that even if the president did not know about the incident, he failed to hold persons who were implicated accountable after videos of military men protecting illegal miners were published in the media.

Murtala made these remarks while commending the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for comments he made on the failure of the state to fight illegal mining.

The Asantehene, while addressing a delegation from the US Embassy in Ghana, questioned why Ghana as a country has failed to stop the menace of ‘galamsey’ even after the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has put his political career on the line to stop it.

Asantehene also questioned why the security apparatus in these 'galamsey' areas and the taskforce set up by the government have failed to stop the menace.

He intimated that small-scale mining was something that had been done for several years but never to the detriment of the environment.

“It (‘galamsey’) has gotten to a point where people are now using equipment and all that. They do not care about the environment.

“But the question is who is in control of the security around the area. From the district level to the highest level. We are all talking about 'galamsey'. The government set up this military cum police to stop galamsey. Why have we not been able to stop it? Why?” he asked.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Armed Forces (GFA) has refuted news reports that its officers provide security for groups and individuals engaging in illegal small-scale mining (‘galamsey’).

The GFA, while reacting to audio-visuals published in the media, said that the persons captured in the videos were not military men.

According to the military, investigations conducted into some of the allegations showed that the persons who were captured in military apparel were private security officers who had been contracted to protect legal small-scale mining firms.