April 21,2017 has been declared a National Red Friday by Occupy Ghana and Coalition of Media against Galamsey menace .
Ace Anan Ankomah,a private legal practitioner and a member of OccupyGhana ,a pressure group announced this Tuesday when the two groups held a meeting in Accra.
He said the move is as part of efforts to intensify the campaign against illegal mining menace.On the scheduled Day, members of the coalition and persons concerned about the campaign are expected to dress in red apparels to send strong signal to government to end the menace by hook or crook.
The media coalition which was launched last week Tuesday hopes to collect one million signatures from Ghanaians and individuals interested in joining the fight against illegal mining, otherwise known as “galamsey”, and forward it to the Presidency for radical action.
The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, who is also the convener of the coalition, said the failure to curb illegal mining in the country over the past decades was unfortunate, hence destruction of the environment with impunity .
He blamed the current state of affairs on leadership failure from all sectors and expressed the hope that political leadership for once would take charge and bring the menace which had muddied water bodies in the country to an immediate end.
He announced plans by the coalition to visit all the galamsey sites across the country to drum home the dangers it was posing to the society; and also indicated plans to also join forces with other security agencies, civil society organisations, as well as traditional leaders and the clergy to fight the canker.
Mr Ashigbey urged the media to begin to publish the countdown to the three-week ultimatum issued by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu, to galamsey operators to cease operations in readiness to intensify the battle against the problem.
He had an issue with members of Parliament whose constituencies were seriously affected by galamsey but failed to speak out against the menace, saying “they are part of the problem”.
A former Municipal Chief Executive of Upper Denkyira, Mr Kofi Ashia, who fought some galamsey operators during his tenure, said the time frame for issuing licences did not ensure strict monitoring of galamsey activities.
He said the issue was further compounded because influential individuals, including politicians in Accra, provided the galamsey operators with heavy equipment to operate.
The Denkyira Development Association, led by its Public Relations Officer, Mr William Amoako Appiah, also joined the coalition and pledged his support in the fight against the operators, lamenting the fact that the Denkyira area was one of the most degraded places in the country through the activities of illegal mining.
The coalition include media partners such as the GCGL, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), the New Times Corporation (NTC), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the Christian Council and the Private Newspapers Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG).
Source:enaghana/ additional files from Daily Graphic