Akufo-Addo ‘galamsey’ fight “opportunity to seize, loot and share” – Haruna Iddrisu
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has stuck a knife into the government’s fight against illegal mining, branding it a failure.
He said the once praised fight had now become an “opportunity to seize, loot and share.”
The Tamale South NDC MP was referring to the missing excavator saga in which an unconfirmed number of the heavy-duty equipment seized from illegal miners went missing.
The revelation has refocused media attention on the government’s militarised fight against illegal mining, which was launched in 2017.
It is also turning some sections of public opinion against the government after much applause in the fight that at one time showed improvement in the condition of some water bodies.
Hoping to have a bite on the fresh pressure on the government, Haruna Iddrisu claimed beyond the excavators, gold seized from illegal miners was also missing.
But he was stopped by the Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye, who stressed the need to produce evidence to back claims on the floor of the House.
“This house will not be turned into a propaganda house,” the Speaker proved a stickler for house rules.
He directed the clerk of parliament to expunge parts of Haruna Iddrisu’s comments from the record.
The Speaker said he would welcome attempts by MP to engage on the subject factually by summoning ministers on the Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining.
Prof. Mike Oquaye invited MPs to make fact-informed commentary and expressed concern, the chamber had become a “house of speculation.”
“Don’t you know that parliament has the right to ask for documents?” he urged MPs to take advantage of Parliament’s powers.
“I am giving you positive guidance,” he told the Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu.
The Minority leader caved in, moving away from commentary to demand that the Inter-Ministerial Committee comes to report to parliament.
Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, a respected heart surgeon’ chairs this committee.
Haruna Iddrisu, even before this committee comes to parliament, urged Prof. Frimpong Boateng to “do what is needful by resigning.”
The phrase “seize, loot and share” was deliberately used by Haruna Iddrisu adapting it from the “create, loot and share” phrase first made by a Supreme Court judge, Justice Jones Dotse, in relation to the Woyome judgment debt saga.
That comment by the judge while delivering a judgment went viral and described what the judge saw as a deliberate plan by then government officials to create an opportunity to steal from the public purse.