former presidential staffer, Charles Onuawonto Bissue, has provided a new context to one of the most emphatic statements of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s own yardsticks for assessing the performance of his administration.
In July 2017, the President served a strong notice of his readiness to put his all into the quest to fight illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
He told some traditional leaders in Accra that “I have said it in the Cabinet, and perhaps this is the first time I am making this public, that I am prepared to put my Presidency on the line on this matter.”
This comment has since resonated with the citizenry as government launched an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining to take up the fight against the canker.
But over the past two weeks, a leaked damning report depicting an ill-fated fight on galamsey, authored by former Environment Minister, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, who doubled as the chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, alleges top officials at the Jubilee House, seat of government, were themselves engaged in the illegality.
In the wake of the uproar that has greeted the report, a section of the public has told the President to put his money where his mouth is with reference to his 2017 ‘oath’ to put his presidency on the line.
The unofficial verdict out there is that in the fight against illegal mining he has not achieved its target, and at best, has failed.
But speaking on PM Express on Joy TV on Tuesday, Charles Bissue, himself a former secretary of the erstwhile committee on illegal mining, said the President’s comments were not to be taken literally.
“That was a figure of speech… meaning that I want to deal with this matter,” he said on JoyNews.