A section of the small scale miners who protested Members of the Ashanti Regional chapter of the Small Scale Miners moved out of their pits and Monday to join hundreds of Ghanaian workers to commemorate this year’s May Day celebrations.
Clad in all red, the miners used placards with various messages to sum up their dissatisfaction with the government’s latest action to clamp down on illegal mining in the country which has depleted vast forest covers and polluted water bodies Some of the placards read: “Protect our savings Mr. President,The solution does not stop small scale mining Mr. President” among others.One placard however appeared to lend support for the government’s fight. It read: “watch out illegal miners, small scale miners will come after you.”
Acting chairman of the Ashanti regional chapter of small scale miners, Frank Osei explained their readiness to coorporate with the government wipe out illegal mining from the system, saying “We have license to operate and are ready to work with government”.
He was however unhappy that their members were being boxed together with illegal miners, pointing out that “we are not illegal miners, the government should not treat all of us as illegal miners”.
Mr. Osei noted their decision to take part in the Labour Day celebration was the fact that they are also workers. “We are workers just like any other worker in Ghana and the government must accord us that respect. We should be allowed to work” he said.