The Ghana Police Service, over the weekend, issued a rather frightening statement that its investigations had led to the arrest of the Chief of Sefwi Elubo, a town in the Western Region, on suspicion that was personally involved in illegal mining activities commonly known as galamsey.
This Chief in question, was arrested along side his brother, while six other suspects are on the run over the same suspected offence.
Of course, every accused person is deemed innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction therefore we would give the Chief the benefit of the doubt and presume he is innocent.
However, the circumstances of his arrest and the nature of information put out by the Police Service both suggest he was involved in the act.
What is believed to be a mining pit was actually found to have been dug in the compound of one of the arrested suspects. The beautifully pained building on the compound was nothing but a mere camouflage.
Over the period, there have been growing reports, speculations and suspicions that some chiefs and traditional leaders were partakers and beneficiaries of the criminal mining style but The New Publisher is yet to hear of a single case where such a chief had been arrested, investigated, sent to court and jailed.
It has hitherto remained sheer speculation, allegations and counter allegations.
The Ghana Police Service, in this instance, certainly deserves some commendation for this arrest and should be encouraged to go ahead with a meticulous and speedy investigation so the suspects are made to face the law if found guilty.
It is pathetic that our chiefs and traditional leaders would partake in this same illegal mining that has become a national crisis challenge.
One would have thought that royalty was exclusively for fitting-members of society entrusted with a divine duty to inspire people to do right but not such evil.
The reports from Sefwi Elubo are disturbing and brings to mind what a former Chinese Ambassador to Ghana said in 2019 that it would be unfair for Ghanaians to blame and accuse only Chinese nationals for the galamsey disaster that has enveloped 13 out of the country’s 16 Regions.
The Chinese diplomat, H.E. Shi Ting Wang, argued correctly that Ghanaians are equally involved in the illicit act and must first stop aiding foreigners in the illegal mining if efforts at fighting the menace are to be successful.
Admittedly, there were several Chinese nationals engaged in illegal mining activities in Ghana but the said foreigners are undoubtedly being assisted by Ghanaians to perpetuate the crime.
The bitter truth is that until we, as Ghanaians, remove the logs of wood from our own eyes, we would remain incapable of blowing out the specs from the eyes of the foreigners involved in this nefarious trade.
Wrong is wrong irrespective of which national commits it and The New Publisher is calling on Ghanaians to be honest with themselves that they are the real culprits perpetuating this illegal mining crime and not the few foreigners who on their own may not have known which forest reserve has gold for them to even enter in the first place.