In recent years Ghana has chalked some successes in the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
Government has made the menace one of its primary aims, and has put in place measures to ensure that the country does not lose any more lands and water bodies to such illegal operations.
Ghana’s security agencies should be given the power to shoot anyone caught engaging in illegal mining practices, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu has clamoured.
Last year, an anti-galamsey taskforce made up of police and military named Operation Vanguard was launched to fight the activities of ‘galamseyers’ and to protect the environment.
The task force has since made many arrests, although there are still some illegal miners who have proved to be recalcitrant.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament believes the best way to stop the act is to give the Police the power to shoot offenders.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament Monday, Mr. Osei Owusu said the country needs to take a strong strand if the fight against illegal mining is to be won.
“Sometimes we need to be strong on wrongdoers. We are pampering wrongdoers in this country too much…and they are not many anyway,” he asserted.
“Mr Speaker, we should stand by the military, operation Vanguard and we should all stand together to ensure that our water bodies are clean and safe.”
Meanwhile, the Second Deputy Speaker Alban Bagbin disagreed with the suggestions made by his colleague.
According to him, dialoguing with the illegal miners is a better way of solving the issue than adopting extreme measures.
“It is only the military that is trained in war situations to shoot to kill, one man, one bullet…I don’t think we are at that stage now…I don’t support any Ghanaian killing any Ghanaian…,” Mr. Bagbin said.