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The Chinese Menace   
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All friends shall taste the wages of their virtue; and all foes the cup of their deserving. – William Shakespeare.

Dr Martin Luther King admonishes us that “we must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose finite hope”. That is my motivation in once again talking about the menace that some few unscrupulous Chinese illegal miners are wreaking on our people and our environment, as we appear hypnotised in fighting back or warding them off from that dangerous path.

The fact is that most of the Chinese illegal miners are not even known to the Chinese Embassy in Accra yet they have become monstrous and awesome due to some hidden hands that are part of us.

Indeed, the Chinese miners can never operate if they did not count on greedy and unpatriotic Ghanaians who are fronting for them. Looking at the brazen nature of the illegal miners, the types of weapons at their disposal and the equipment they are using, nothing shows that their activities do not have the tacit support of unscrupulous traditional leaders, powerful security personnel, government and party activists and functionaries as well as highly placed public and civil servants.

How come that the graders and pay loaders employed by the Chinese are cleared at the ports and transported to where they operate without anyone monitoring their movements. That is why I would like to send a personal appeal to President John Dramani Mahama, my roommate, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye to individually and collectively act with firmness and determination to resolve this matter once and for all.

My problem is that we should not sit on the fence and pretend that all is well, when a few Chinese cheats are destroying not only our heritage ,with the environment, including the flora and fauna, worse the water bodies, when we have not been able to provide our people with potable water.

President Mahama must act because there is a feeling out there that our government has sold our birthright to the Chinese because of the huge volumes of loans we have contracted from the Chinese government and financial institutions. This feeling of helplessness and potential anomie is very diffused and widespread.

There are many who think that government officials, public and civil servants as well as political party activists and functionaries together with security personnel are neck-deep and are reaping huge undeserved gains from the Chinese illegal miners, hence our playing the ostrich and turning a blind eye to the illegalities.

The necessity for involving the Asantehene is that, there is a deep feeling that chiefs of all sorts and stature, from the Amansie and Adansi areas are somehow involved in the illegal operations of the Chinese illegal miners. With their collaboration and connivance with security personnel, the Chinese are usually informed of any intended security operations and most often, they prepare very well-armed to meet the security personnel, some of whom have compromised their integrity. Therefore, I would want the Asantehene to summon all the chiefs together with the Amanhene under whose area of jurisdiction, the Chinese are operating, to give firm undertaking that they do not have anything to do with the illegal mining and would swear by their stools and ancestors to do all they can to flush out the illegal Chinese miners.

The problem with herdsmen and the numerous failed interventions to chase them out, including the countless avoidable deaths of both Ghanaians and Fulanis, must be fresh in our memory. We should not wait to be enmeshed in turmoil, to the crude level, where it took the ‘madness’ of the youth of the Agogo area to compel the government to act by denying the royal dead fitting burial and funerals, the unilateralism of undermining the authority of Nana Akuoko Sarpong, must remind us that it is better to act now that the youth in the affected areas are only complaining.

Otherwise, if we wait until their anger reaches saturation point and they are compelled to act in whatever manner to defend their interests and themselves, because our government and traditional authorities would have failed to protect them, it would be against the national interest. This is critical because if the youth are compelled to act for themselves and by themselves, the anger will not only be directed against the illegal Chinese miners, but also our security personnel, chiefs, civil and public servants, government officials and party functionaries and activists, who would all be put together as a stumbling block in their efforts to live responsible and environmentally friendly lives.

I have been compelled to make this desperate appeal to my roommate, President Mahama and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu because of an interaction with some personnel of Anglogold Ashanti.

Recently, I bumped into some officials of the company, who appeared helpless and hapless in their efforts to contain the menace of the Chinese illegal miners. With all its might, if Anglogold Ashanti cannot deal with the encroachments of the Chinese marauding illegal miners, then what about ordinary Ghanaians.

I learnt from the brief interaction that the Chinese illegal miners are all over the concessions held by Anglogold Ashanti. In one instance, I was told that illegal mining is going on about 100 metres from the airport of the company. How daring could the Chinese be if they can operate near such a strategic asset of one of the most outstanding mining companies in the world. Anglogold Ashanti cannot win the battle against the Chinese because its security personnel do not carry the level of destructive arms available to the Chinese. More important, often the illegal miners are released from police custody as quickly as possible after their arrest.

That is why some personnel of Anglogold Ashanti suspect that the Chinese have cover and protection from government and security sources and are emboldened to carry out their activities without fear. After all, as our elders say, whenever a blind man threatens to throw a stone at somebody, they would be standing on a stone, when you know that you have something or somebody to die for, you are never afraid to die.

As much as destruction occurred when we delayed in dealing with the influx of Fulani herdsmen and acted when the interests of Ghanaians had been trampled upon for too long and we did not seem to command any respect from the foreigners, we should not watch and stare as our egos are deflated by the Chinese.

Whover is hidding behind the Chinese to sell our birthright and heritage must be reminded that, like Esau, they may realise too late that their future has been mortgaged. The time to act is now for as John Stuart Mill postulates “no great improvement in the lot of mankind is possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought”.

Until we change the dysfunctional attitude in us, which makes us think that the interests of our people and nation must be undermined and subordinated or surrendered to that of foreigners, we would have no qualms at the leadership level in selling ourselves cheap. But we must remember that when we cut our tongues and eat them, we have eating no meat.
Source: Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo

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