Nearly six years ago, after his daring act to expose an illegal mining cabal in Japekrom, in the Jama South Municipality in the Bono region, Rubin Kwame Ayisi, a former resident of the area, has since remained under constant threat.
“No security has been provided to him despite promises, nor has any action been taken against the cartel he helped expose”, Mrs. Ayisi, wife of Rubin Ayisi, the ‘whistleblower’ has said.
“Since 2019, we had to change our location and contact numbers due to numerous threatening text messages and calls from some strange numbers. It’s been almost six years and my husband still can’t live his normal life because of fear of unexpected attacks, although the police has since assured us of further investigations into the threats, we are still not safe”, the wife stated.
According to a police report from the Police Headquarters in Accra, filed on 30th July, 2019, Rubin Ayisi had reported of “receiving threat calls and messages from 0243…(number withheld) on several occasions after he reported illegal mining activities by some senior officials at his place of work to higher authorities”.
The police further indicated that the sim the unidentified caller used was unregistered and not in regular use as well, but ensured proper investigations was going to be conducted.
For more than two decades, illegal mining, popularly known as Galamsey, has been a worrying concern, irking government and other stakeholders to brace up with efforts to control the situation.
Despite several allegations, indicting some top government officials and other powerful politicians in their complicity in the illegal mining ‘business’, government has assured it still remains committed in the fight against Galamsey.
In 2017, the ‘Operations Vanguard’ , a joint Millitary and a police task force was introduced by the government to assist in the fight against illegal mining.
Recently, the ‘operation halt II’, a team of Millitary men, has also been introduced to help fight illegal mining.
Despite the numerous challenges in the fight against ‘Galamsey’, the Minister for Lands and Fisheries, Honorable Abu Jinapor, has assured government’s relentless effort to make sure sanity prevails in the small-scale mining industry.
In a recent visit to Datano, a mining area in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region, where the Minister led a team from the Ministries of Information and Lands and Natural Resources to visit the Operation Halt II team in the area, Mr. Jinapor expressed his satisfaction with the work done by the military, led by the General Officer Commanding of the Central Command, Brigadier General Joseph Aphour.
He commended the Millitary for being able to clear the site of illegal miners, demolished their infrastructure, and brought their operations to a halt.
He said the team arrested some illegal miners and seized excavators and other mining equipment, which have been handed over to the Ghana Police Service.
The Minister said the operation is one of many to come, aimed at exposing the complexities involved in the illegal mining business.
He queried how the activities of these illegal miners could elude all the security apparatus in the district, the traditional and local authorities, and the mine inspectors in charge of the area.