Obuasi Galamsey We'll not bow to your no vote threats - MP to Galamseyers

Some irate illegal miners in Obuasi on Wednesday morning took to the streets to protest against government’s move to stop them from mining in their various mining centres.

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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.

According to him, their threats cannot have any bearing on the polls as most of the illegal miners are strangers who do not vote in the area.

Some irate illegal miners in Obuasi on Wednesday morning took to the streets to protest against government’s move to stop them from mining in their various mining centres.

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“No galamsey, no votes” - Illegal miners chant in protest 

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”.

play Many of them in their anger vandalised the offices of some political parties (Graphic Online)

 

But Mr Ennin, who is also the Member of Parliament for Obuasi East, said their threats do not hold.

“They [illegal miners] have seen that in Ghana some governments are very weak. Most of these galamseyers are strangers, they don’t even vote in Obuasi.

“Even if all of them are to vote they are not more than 0.01 per cent of the voting population and so if you are a government, you weigh both sides – you are losing income, which is going against you seriously, and these galamseyers. Which one do you go for? Which one will you choose?

“...When you come to Obuasi, those who vote in Obuasi West alone are about 55, 000, East is close to 44,000, the galamseyers are not up to 0.01 per cent. So it means you have more people there who will vote and who will decide and those more people there you see are the ones who are for the mine, they want the mine to come so that they will get jobs to do so that there will be more money in their pockets. And so compare the two and choose for us to know if you are a good or bad leader,” he told Accra FM.

AGA has over the years had issues with the galamsey operators who are said to have been encroaching on the concession of the company.

The miners, per the order, were to vacate the concession immediately or be forced out.

Plans have been made in collaboration with the Movement Committee to relocate them.

But the illegal miners insist that the new areas offered them did not have enough gold deposits.

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