The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu is advocating severe sanction regime for illegal miners who find themselves at the wrong side of the law to serve as deterrent to others.
He does not see the reason why people who deny others from their livelihoods must be treated with kid’s gloves or treated fairly all in the name of natural justice.
According to him, if one does a thorough analysis of the activities of illegal miners, one would appreciate or come to the understanding that the search for money by some few people is done much to the detriment of communities, thereby, denying hundreds or thousands or in extreme cases millions of their livelihoods.
Illegal mining, he said, should not be entertained at all in the country, preferring stiffer punishment for those who engage in such acts to serve as deterrent to others.
“Mr. Speaker, the mining activities on water bodies are affecting our crops. That is the damage that those few people who want to make money from gold are doing to us”, he noted.
He added “Mr. Speaker, extreme behavior must be met with extreme response. We are dealing with people who are determined to make their money at every cost notwithstanding the damage they do to the environment”.
The First Deputy Speaker who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai made this observation, Tuesday, when contributing to a statement made by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, on military operations in his constituency.
Mubarak had accused the military (Operations Vanguard) of unlawful acts by burning down fourteen tipper trucks, an excavator and motorbikes at Afa Yile in the Dalun electoral area on Saturday, March 3, 2018, ostensibly to prevent people from polluting the Nawuni River which is a source of water supply to the Tamale Metropolis and its environs.
But Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu commenting further noted that the country cannot sit down for livelihoods to be destroyed at the expense of few people who want to make money by destroying water bodies.
“In one of the communities called Aduama, I was going on a community visit when I met an old lady. She told me they have expanded the river and I cannot go to my farm. So, I got interest and walked to them. Mr. Speaker, the work of the river had been expanded like the walls of this chamber to the other wall. It was a small stream which they used a tree to make a cross over. Now, the old lady can’t cross over. So, she is not benefiting from her farming but also denied access to her farm. That is the kind of things that are happening in all these areas that we are encouraging”, he noted.
He said one of the things he would have loved to do if he had the authority is to make a law “that if you find people on water bodies, shoot them”.
He cautioned Members to be careful not to appear to be loyal to few people who are destroying the country’s water bodies, farms, among many others that are affecting lives of the rural folks.