Former Environment Minister, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has expressed his disillusionment with the lack of support from President Akufo-Addo in the battle against illegal small-scale mining, known as ‘galamsey.’
His disappointment stems from last week’s decision by the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, which cleared government officials of allegations of illegal mining activities made by Professor Frimpong-Boateng, the former chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM).
In a 36-page report titled “Report on the work of IMCIM so far and the way forward,” Professor Frimpong Boateng alleged that certain government officials and private citizens were involved in illegal mining activities, commonly referred to as “galamsey.”
In response to the Attorney General’s advice on the matter, Prof Frimpong-Boateng stated, “I am not at all surprised by that characterization by the Attorney General.”
During an interview on TV3’s Hot Issue on Sunday, October 22, he reiterated his earlier perception of the President’s commitment to fighting illegal mining, only to realize he might have been mistaken.
He expressed his initial confidence in the President’s support, recalling the President’s promise to put his presidency on the line to end illegal mining.
However, he later began to doubt whether he had accurately assessed the situation.
“Let us take the fight against illegal mining, the president gave his his word that he was going to put his presidency on the line to stop that thing. I was very confident I had his support but later on, I got the impression that maybe I was wrong,” he said.
Prof. Frimpong Boateng also commented on the transformation of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) since his time during the Kufuor administration.
He pointed out significant changes, stating, “You will find people who have no elected or appointed positions in the party or in government, yet they appear to wield so much power that they do as they please, and party and government members are fearful of them. This is an unhealthy development in the party and in an NPP government.”