Former President John Mahama has advised the government against the use of excessive force against illegal miners and that there are better ways to fight the illegal activity.
The current government has formed the Operation Vanguard task Force to fight illegal mining across the country. The task force, which comprises Soldiers, police officers, and other security operatives has succeeded in driving away some illegal miners in some mining communities in spite of some excesses.
However, addressing thousands of party sympathizers during the party’s Unity Walk at Aboabo in the Asawase Constituency Saturday, Mr. Mahama said using soldiers to fight illegal mining won’t achieve results, adding the measure was tried during his tenure but failed.
“The use of security personnel against our young men and women[galamseyers] is nothing new. We tried it but it didn’t work; so we introduced a new mining law to regulate the activities of small-scale miners while giving them the opportunity to earn some income,” President Mahama said.
According to him, a blanket ban on small-scale mining and the use of soldiers against innocent young people was not the way to go.
He said a livelihood package that serves as an alternative income for the miners should have been considered first before the blanket ban on small-scale mining.