Galamsey: The nemesis which is misconstrued
Galamsey

We were all born Ghanaians first before introduced to any political party. Political parties have come and gone – Ghana remains. Our first duty is to the State called Ghana before any entity be it a political party or whatever.

Why? Because, chances are that the political parties we so much love to the extent of killing, insulting, maiming others etc for might be swept into oblivion if not complete extinction.

I’m right to say this because there were very huge popular political parties back in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s,1980s and even 1990s which when mentioned now sounds as though the name has never been mounted on billboards and sign posts before. Such is life!

This is the more reason why everyone must be a citizen first and if not for ourselves, we owe it to the next generation which our children/offsprings or relatives will surely form part. The question is which Ghana are we going to bequeath to them after we are long gone – formed part of the earth’s soil?

We sit in Accra and talk about Galamsey as though it is happening in a faraway country. The stark reality seem stereotypical as though we are watching some blockbuster movie which off course isn’t real. But, let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking that because most of us have boreholes dug in our houses and have enough money to cater for buying sachet and bottled water to drink so all is well. That is a very naive and selfish way to think as a rational human being.

There is this adage which states that “when you see that your neighbour’s beard in on fire burning, you fetch water and dip yours inside “. Why is this necessary? Because some of the fires can be sparked to travel a distance and you might be caught unaware and get burnt in the process so the best and sensible thing to do is to fetch water and just dip yours inside in readiness of any fire that might lose its way in the unlikely event that the unexpected happens. This way u will be safe and secured. Sensible right? Of course yes!

Why are we here? This is a question that tackles the fundamentals and not the political gymnastics that is going on. This politics take away the fundamental questions n present us with some cosmetic picture of what is really taking place or happening.

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Ghana has always touted itself as being endowed with almost all the natural resources that the Creator of this universe has to endow any nation with. We are very blessed that the creator we have not seen before cared so much for us! But can we boldly say that the resources on the land have benefited the lives of the majority of the people it was meant for?

A big NO! It has even become a curse of a sort. We seem to be mere watchmen over our resources. Making sure they are intact to be exploitated by a white skinned man who speaks with an accent and a language that we do not understand or one that we so much want to mimic at all cost because to us, that is the mark of civility. Our resources have never benefited the common people but only the political class /elites and Chieftains who I see as assigns of the erstwhile colonizers. They are our brothers alright but they are not Ghanaians.

Why? Because they don’t serve our interests in any way! They have houses scattered all across Europe and educate their children there as well. Their families either come to Ghana to visit, enjoy the proceeds of stolen wealth as a result of their forebears duping the nation or be buried here when they die. I’m I lying? I still maintain that they are not Ghanaians!

Our resources have never benefited the people and every truthful Ghanaian and not the usual auto pilot political party supporters know this as a fact. The areas where the resources are located if I’m right, in most cases are the less developed. Basic amenities which should never be a problem are missing out of the equation.

The resources there do not reflect in the standards of living of the indigenes. The resources on the lands or beneath are just by names sake, nothing more, nothing less. It ends right there! And poverty coupled with hunger can drive a man to even eat his own child just to stay alive.

Hardship brings out the monster in every person. We make the whole thing look simplistic as though those boys, girls, women and men engaged in galamsey in Akwatia are nation wreckers but that is far from the truth.

There is more to the story. Every person has a breaking point where he or she feels must take charge of events and care less of the aftermath whatsoever. It’s all about bread and butter issue, how to satiate “real live” hunger just to stay alive and any other matter shall be attended to later. It’s well summed up in this saying that “when we get to the bridge we shall cross”. This is exactly the effect we are seeing today in our water bodies and lands. They simply don’t care!

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Hardship kills conscience and can turn a very rational or upright man into a depraved soul. When you talk about conscience or morality, beware of who u talk to because it is very relative – situations determine one’s mode of conduct.

If we want someone to blame, we should blame leadership. Leadership in this context refers to both the political class/elites and Chieftains. Let’s assume that those involved in galamsey are area boys and girls who are fed up with hardships and want to make a living.

The question again is how did we get here? It’s all boils down to bad leadership and a very polarized society where a certain class of people can behave with impunity, do whatever they like and go scot free.

Let another group do same and it’s a big crime, the narrative will change suddenly. The hypocrisy is just sickening in our society. Make no mistake and attack those locals in the villages engaged in galamsey. They are just a tip of the iceberg, the real huge base is hidden beneath the waters. The real culprits are the Political class/elites and Chieftains.

When ordinary citizens realize that their leaders themselves are corrupt, the floodgates opens up for all forms of bad behavioral displays. What hitherto they feared to do, becomes the order of the day and those to check them loose every power to call them to order.

Why? Because they themselves are guilty of the same sins. “He who is without sin should cast the first stone” characterise their lackadaisical response to wrongs happening in full glare of everyone. They have no moral right to correct anything!

Concluding on this, I say leadership must be responsible and set the right examples to whip everyone in line. No matter how corrupt a Chinese leader is, he will never lead a Ghanaian to engage in acts or wrongs that will cause destruction in their well-loved country.

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Over their dead bodies! So why do our political leaders/elites and Chieftains allow this to happen in our beloved Ghana?  I know they will blame it on rebellious or disrespectful people who have gone out of line. Let’s assume this is true. How did this happen? I have already stated earlier that, when the leader himself is corrupt, there is complete chaos.

Laws are just mere sentences written on papers and end just right there. They can never be enforced to the letter because those to do so are all guilty of same sins. Leaders must be responsible and stop thinking about only themselves and how to bequeath wealth to their next generations.

They must understand that just as they love their families so much so that that they will go to any extent to give them the best of lives, the same applies to the farmer who lives in my little hometown called Akyem Awisa. The resources on the land and beneath must be made to benefit everyone and not a minority who are bent on maintaining an oligarchy.

Let’s use our resources well to create the needed employment for all young ones. Every area in Ghana has one form of a natural resource or another and we can create economic activities around them and in so doing the people can see the real benefits of  what they have and no one will tell them to take care of themselves and their environment.

We are where we are because of irresponsible leadership and the need for survival by the young man who have mouths to feed just like everyone else. Our resources have never benefited the indigenes directly except some few selfish individuals who parade the streets during occasions like funeral etc. and announce their wealth to everyone by way of driving in some expensive cars and dressed flamboyantly as though they do adverts for Louis Vuitton in Paris.

Galamsey can be stopped easily if leadership and I mean the political class/elites and Chieftains will call a spade a spade and not a big spoon. Those local boys and girls engaged in it are the mere underlings we see.

The big bosses are behind the scenes busily messing up things but appear publicly to sing a dirge for all of us to cry along. Enough is enough – the tragedy of Africa is bad leadership!

AMA GHANA is not responsible for the reportage or opinions of contributors published on the website.

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