Chiefs from Dompem Pepesa in the Western Region have leveled strong accusations against the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem, Mr George Mireku Duker for being the cause of increased galamsey activities in the area. According to them, the fight against illegal mining in the area is at a standstill due to some political interference from the Deputy Minister. Speaking at a press conference organized by Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana (GGAGG), the Chief of Dompem Pepesa, Nana Nyowah Panyin IV expressed worries over how police personnel are not allowed to perform their duties as a result of political interference by the MP which has emboldened the illegal miners. The Chief has therefore called on the IGP to as a matter of agency intervene to help ensure police in the area go by their duties without any interference. Below is the full speech by the Convener of Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana Mr Listowel Nana Kusi Opoku. As you are all aware, we at Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana (GGAGG) have been in the forefront of the fight against Galamsey. In recent times, we have, as part of our modus operandi, done a lot of investigations which without any equivocation have exposed some government officials who have formed a syndicate to perpetrate that menace in some forest reserves, cocoa farms, rivers and water bodies. Ladies and gentlemen, today we are bringing to your attention another expose from the Western Region, a Region that has infamously been known for most of these illegal mining activities (GALAMSEY). Friends of the media, what is even more shocking about this revelation is the fact the regional minister of the western region in the person of Kwabena Otsere Darko Mensah is the main actor in this EXPOSE. Ladies and gentlemen, if you remember, in our previous correspondences with you, we have had to expose together with this same western regional minister, Kwabena Otsere Darko Mensah and his colleagues in the galamsey business namely George Market Duker, MP, Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency and Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and Benjamin Kesse, MCE, Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly. Ladies and gentlemen, today’s case is one that will truly explain 1. How the western regional minister’s intimidatory action has become an impediment in the way of the Ghana Police Service in the Region as far as law enforcement especially in respect of their functional duty protecting lives and properties is concerned. 2. Why Kwabena Otsere Darko Mensah’s continues occupancy of office as the Western Regional Minister makes governments fight against Galamsey a charade in the Western Region of Ghana. BRIEF BACKGROUND Ladies and gentlemen, we are sure, you remember that in the middle of last year the chief of Dompem Pepesa, Nana Nyowah Panyin IV made a strong statement and a declaration that he together with his subjects will not countenance any illegal mining activities (GALAMSEY) on his land any longer. Ladies and gentlemen, after this resolute declaration, the Chief followed up with some expose as regards those who are behind all the illegal mining activities (Galamsey) in Dompem Pepesa. He never minced a word calling out the names of; Kwabena Otsere Darko Mensah, George Mireku Duker and Benjamin Kesse; as those who are behind all the illegal mining activities in the Western Region, especially Tarkwa. Ladies and gentlemen, early this year according to Nana Nyowah Panyin IV, he had a hint from some of his towners that some persons are mining in a forest area at Ngogoso, one of Nana’s communities. Nana Nyowah Panyin IV sent some elders of his palace to the place to ascertain the veracity of the report by the towners. The elders went and came back to the Palace to collaborate on the accounts of the towners. Nana Nyowah Panyin IV subsequently went together with the elders to witness the accounts of both towners and the elders by himself. Ladies and gentlemen, to His surprise, some person (Ghanaians and Chinese) were in the forest mining illegally (doing Galamsey) destroying Cocoa farms and the Forest. On Monday, February 6th, 2023, Nana Nyowah Panyin IV went to report the incident to the Tarkwa Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service. On Friday, February 10th, 2023, the Police went in and effected the arrest of five (5) Ghanaians and two (2) Chinese and sent them to the Tarkwa Regional Command. On Sunday, February 12th, 2023, a group of youth came to the Palace of Nana Nyowah Panyin IV to inform him that the same people the police arrested had come back to the site. Nana Nyowah Panyin IV followed up to the Tarkwa Regional Command where he earlier on went to log the complaint to know the outcome of the case. Ladies and gentlemen, it will shock you to know that upon further interrogations, the said order from above happened to have come from Kwabena Otsere Darko Mensah, the Western Regional Minister. We find this action to be very unlawful as we believe same is an intimidatory and obstructive tendency that hinders progress as far as the enforcement of laws, and the duty of the police is concerned. We are by this calling on the President, Akufo Addo to, with immediate effect, sack Kwabena Otsere Darko Mensah if he is serious with the fight against Galamsey. We further want to use this statement to call on the IGP to investigate the issues leading to the freeing of the suspect who should have been prosecuted on the orders of a Regional Minister. We encourage the Ghana Police Service NOT to feel intimidated by the actions and tendencies of an unscrupulous Regional Minister whose aim is to make money unlawfully.