Date: June 18, 2017
The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) has presented a total of 31,000 signatures to the Media Coalition of Ghana against Illegal Mining (Galamsey) as part of its contribution to the one-million-person signature campaign to end Galamsey in Ghana.
The presentation of the 31,000 signatures collected from members of the GPCC across the country was made by its General Secretary, Apostle Samuel Yaw Antwi, in Accra on Friday, June 16, at the Graphic Communications Group Limited.
According to the Convener of the Steering Committee of the Coalition, Mr Ken Ashigbey, who is also the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, the signature petition presented by the GPCC is the largest number the Media Coalition has received so far since the campaign was launched in April this year.
He commended the leadership of the GPCC led by Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah, for its support towards the fight against illegal mining activities in Ghana which, he, described as a “holy fight.”
He said the Coalition will collate and bind all the signatures they will receive and present copies to the President, the Chief Justice and Parliament for action to be taken.
Mr Ashigbey disclosed that there has been some appreciable improvement since the campaign began two months as the tepidity levels of the river bodies in the affected areas has improved.
He however said that in as much as the national campaign is making progress, there are still challenges to deal with as the illegal miners have changed their modus operandi by mining in the night.
The Coalition Convener urged the President to relentlessly continue the fight. He cautioned those engaged in the illegal mining blackmailing the President with threats of voting against him in the next elections to stop it, because “criminality is criminality” and that their activities are more like armed robbery depriving the nation of its resources.
“This is not about politics; we thank God that the President has shown political will and we want to encourage him to continue,” he said, adding, “To the criminals we are not going to stand for them to steal our future away.”
Mr. Ashigbey also commended the immediate-past Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, for acting proactively by setting up 14 special courts to swiftly deal with Galamsey cases.
“The solution to this problem is to be able to investigate and find the big Ghanaians who are behind it. It is not the Chinese but Ghanaians who go to China, recruit them into Ghana and finance their illegal activities. If we are able to touch even one and deal with him drastically then it [Galamsey] will stop.
He however said that the Coalition is not against small scale mining, but irresponsible mining which is seriously destroying the environment and river bodies.
The General Secretary of the GPCC, Apostle Samuel Yaw Antwi, on his part said that the GPCC decided to come onboard the campaign to educate their members about the need to be good stewards of the things God has created since Christians are stewards of God’s creation.
He indicated that the GPCC has charged its member churches to use their pulpits to educate their members on the menace and also train those who are engaged in it for alternative livelihoods so as to help them get out of it.
He also employed government to do what it can to deal with the big people behind the illegal mining activities in the country in order to nib it in the bud.
The Coalition with the #StopGalamseyNow included media partners such as the Graphic Communication Group Limited, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), the Ghanaian Times, the Ghana Journalists Association, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the Christian Council and PRIMPAG.
Present at the short ceremony were the Editor of the Daily Graphic and Secretary to the Steering Committee of the Coalition, Mr Ransford Tetteh, and the Administrative Manager at the GPCC National Secretariat, Mr Ernest Asigri.
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