Friday, 3 June 2016

Why A Cover-Up Of Illegal Logging And Illegal Gold Mining At Akyem Juaso By Fanteakwa District Assembly Officials Will Not Succeed

Public servants involved in corrupt practices, often rely on the intimidating power of the Leviathan that is the Ghanaian nation-state, to enable them successfully hide their wrongdoing, and get away with sundry crimes.

Ordinary people in our nation, who are victimised by the actions and inactions of corrupt public  officials, often face overwhelming odds, when they attempt to seek justice - as corrupt officials are often experts at organising cover-ups to hide their evil deeds. That is why many who are victimised by corrupt officials seldom persist in fighting for justice.

One such attempt at a cover-up, by compromised district-level officials in the Fanteakwa District Assembly - who are beholden to the wealthy criminal syndicates behind the illegal logging and illegal gold mining at the Akyem Juaso section of the Atewa Range upland evergreen rain forest - is now underway,  as a number of petitions by me on behalf of the P. E. Thompson Estate, are finally investigated by officials from Accra.

What those corrupt and deceitful district-level officials forget, is that the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, expressly prohibits the expropriation of private property by State actors, in this country.

That is why in the final analysis,  they cannot arbitrarily take part of our 14-square mile privately-owned freehold forestland, which our family has owned since 1921, from the British colonial era, and hand it over to gold miners to mine gold in, without  recourse to us, and without our written consent, under any circumstances.

Unluckily for them, we are not illiterate cocoa farmers, who can easily be bamboozled by corrupt public  officials. We are organic cocoa farmers, who see themselves as passionate and committed stewards of a rare gift of nature to humankind, who take their stewardship role very seriously. The battle for justice will still continue. They haven't heard the last word over this very grave matter yet. It will travel to the Supreme Court, if need be.

Let them do their damnest - and cook-up a whitewashed report to the powers that be. We shall now seek relief from the law courts: where officials working for the Fanteakwa District Assembly's Water Resources Commission, Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will have to explain to incorruptible judges in Accra, how official permission was obtained to mine gold on part of our privately-owned freehold forestland, by a  Hagnella Mining Company, without our knowledge, and written consent.

They will also have to explain to the law courts, how Hagnella Mining Company also transferred that selfsame 'concession' to yet another illegal gold miner - who, as we speak,   is also now busy continuing the wanton destruction, of what was part of a pristine and incredibly beautiful biodiversity hotspot of some global significance, performing vital ecosystem services, which  took millions of years to evolve, with a 32-tonne excavator.

It is time someone took a stand against those in officialdom aiding and abetting the wealthy criminal syndicates behind the illegal gold mining, illegal sand-winning and illegal logging destroying the natural heritage of Ghanaians, by dragging them to court.

The destruction wrought by 32-tonne excavators used to mine gold in open-cast and strip-mining operations, is on an industrial scale.

There is nothing small-scale about the harm they cause to natural habitats and vital ecosystems. It is invariably apocalyptic in magnitude - and society ought not to be deceived by the nomenclature used by regulators in categorising that sector of our national economy's gold mining industry.

So-called small-scale gold mining in Ghana, involving the use of excavators, is definitely not artisanal-mining: Which is why there has to be a national conversation about it - if we are to ensure that at a time when global warming is impacting our country so negatively, future generations of our people can also enjoy a similar quality of life enjoyed by present-day Ghanaians, if not better. They too deserve to have the benefits of having forests.

Illegal gold miners, illegal sandwinners and illegal loggers, will eventually turn Ghana into a hell on earth, as sure as day follows night, if their unlawful and environmentally harmful activities are not brought to a swift end, by complacent officialdom.

For that reason, we shall seek a pronouncement by the law courts, as to whether or not gold mining, which  involves the deployment of excavators,  can properly and lawfully be categorised as small-scale in nature, by public officials and regulatory bodies, in a Ghana plaqued by illegal gold mining - with the attendant toxic heavy metals and poisonous chemicals left in their wake polluting soils, streams, rivers and groundwater sources, across vast swathes of  the Ghanaian countryside.

On the ground, all gold mining involving the use of excavators, is definitely on an industrial scale. No question.

As regards the Fanteakwa District Assembly's Forestry Commission Forestry Division officials who deny the fact that illegal logging and the production of bush-cut lumber from unlawfully felled trees is indeed going on both inside and outside the Atewa Forest Reserve, on a regular basis, one's simple answer to them,  is that the facts on the ground  can never be wished away and covered up by anyone involved in that ongoing callous and brutal gang-rape of Mother Nature.

In the end, they too will be exposed by the facts on the ground, in the reserve, and the forested slopes around it.

This blog is serving notice to all those public officials, who are colluding with the wealthy criminal syndicates behind the illegal gold mining and illegal logging, now going on in the Akyem Juaso section, of the Atewa Range upland evergreen rainforest: They face super-determined environmental activists who will not give up until the right thing is finally done by them.

No district-level public official, at the Fanteakwa District Assembly, who is involved in this egregious scandal, should think that any attempt at a cover-up, by any of them, will succeed. In the final analysis it will not. Not this time - especially when President John Dramani Mahama currently co-chairs the UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocates. Period.

Hmm, Ghana - enti yeawieye paa enei? Asem kesie ebeba debi, ankasa! I rest my case.

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