It has emerged that the government quest to fight the galamsey menace is gradually becoming difficult as some ‘big men’ from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) are involved in destroying the natural environment all in the name of finding gold.
This revelation happens to be in a video circulating on Social Media days after reports about 500 excavators seized by Operation Vanguard team gone missing.
In the video, Horace Ekow Ewusi, the NPP former Vice Chairman of the Agona West Constituency, is heard discussing with the Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, how they can engage with some party folks on some mining concessions in order to raise money from the illegal activities to support the party.
Ekow, allegedly said he went to the Minister’s office with the General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, with a request of mining illegally so that the proceeds would be used to support the NPP.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng is heard allegedly agreeing to their request and gave his party folks the green light to engage in galamsey.
Galamsey, unregulated mining, destroys the environment.
“…Did you tell me that you are done forming the team? We talked about the framework…we all know that the party needs money…I told you that Chairman Wontumi has some concession so go there and inspect the place…but after the meeting, you told me that you are done with everything and your guys have started working…” the Minister said.
Ekow Ewusi stated further that, Hon Elvis Morris Donkor, the Member of Parliament for Abura, Asebu, Kwamankese (AAK), had also requested for an excavator form the Minister [Frimpong-Boateng] to use on some galamsey sites.
“The last time you met my MP [Elvis Donkor] in Parliament, he told you that he will also need a machine to work with and you even asked him to come and see me because I have a lot of these excavators,” Ekow Ewusi said to the Minister.
The Minister, however, denied knowing the said MP for Abura, Asebu, Kwamankese (AAK).
“I don’t even know this Elvis Donkor you are talking about, who is he? I don’t know him…where did he say I met him?” Prof Frimpong-Boateng quizzed.
The heated exchange got Prof Frimpong-Boateng angry and asked Ekow Ewusi to walk out from his office.
“Ekow please go away…don’t annoy me today. Please walk out…the way you are talking I don’t like it…you can’t come here to accuse me. You go when I’m ready I’ll call you…I’m doing something for tomorrow…” angry Minister stated.
“Ekow please go away…don’t annoy me today. Please walk out…the way you are talking I don’t like it…you can’t come here to accuse me. You go when I’m ready I’ll call you…I’m doing something for tomorrow…” angry Prof Frimpong Boateng said.
The cardiothoracic surgeon is also the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM). He has stated earlier that most of the excavators that were seized from illegal miners had vanished.
Listen to the conversation between the Minister and Ekow Ewusi below
Ekow Ewusi’s Arrest
The Criminal Investigations Department [CID] of the Ghana Police Service arrested Horace Ekow Ewusi, over missing excavators seized in the clampdown on illegal mining ‘galamsey’.
The embattled Vice Chairman was interrogated over his role in some missing excavators and other equipment seized from illegal mining operators.
The arrest follows a request made to the CID by the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
According to the letter written by the Minister, Mr Ewusi was contracted to cart excavators and pieces of equipment seized by Operation Vanguard to designated areas for safekeeping.
The Minister’s letter said the Ministry had received information that he sent an unknown number of equipment to the unauthorized location including one in Tema.
It further said, “Information reaching me indicates that he has sold an unknown number of the pieces of equipment including excavators.”