The Minister of Defence, Mr. Dominic Nitiwul has noted that illegal miners have adopted a new strategy of mining at night so as to evade the security agencies from detecting their activities.
He has therefore advised those engaged in night illegal mining to stop.
This is a new strategy adopted by the illegal miners. It is risky and as the Minister of Defence, I cannot guarantee their safety should they be caught by the task force”.
At a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 Mr Nitiwul said that since ‘Operation Halt’ commenced, some illegal miners, in their quest to escape being apprehended, have resorted to engaging in their illegalities between 9 pm and 4 am.
“They go at midnight and engage in Changfans activities and come back during the day. That is how brave they are. We know, and we know the towns that you are doing it in so we will come after you.
“And in the night for the safety of the soldiers, I cannot guarantee your own safety. No soldier will go out in the night without trying to protect himself or herself first. So I will advise you not to go out,” he emphasised.
The Defence Minister said the 561 all rank military officers were mandated to protect the water bodies and forest cover by riding off any persons and logistics involved in illegal mining.
He said the soldiers executed their mandate satisfactorily without targeting anyone based on the person’s political colouration
The Minister said if the nation did not take immediate action against the galamsey menace, the country may lose the Rivers in the southern belt of the country in the next three to four years.
He said it was imperative for all Ghanaians to collectively deal with the illegal mining once and for all.
Mr Nitiwul gave the assurance that the military operation would be sustained until the water bodies returned to their natural state and trees planted on the mined areas.
He said government would not guarantee the safety of those who may return to the rivers and forest reserves to do illegal mining at night.
He, therefore, cautioned the citizenry to stay away from all “red zone” areas, saying that Government’s primary goal was to sanitize the environment and ensure viable and sustainable mining practices.
The Minister said “no amount of public relations efforts or gimmicks employed by the illegal miners would deter government from fighting the galamsey menace”.