Former president John Mahama has urged small scale miners in the Western region to to vote out president Akufo-Addo in the upcoming elections for depriving them of their livelihoods.
He said the president in the run up to the 2016 elections promised to snaitize the mining sector and regulate their businesses to save the environment in mining areas but has pushed them out of job and replaced them with party faithfuls when voted into power.
The NDC leader made the assertion at a durbar at Pentecost Park, Tarkwa in the Western Region when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was launching its campaign in the Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency.
“Today we are here and witnessing what is happening in this area. The NPP government has collapsed small scale mining that feeds you here and subjected you to hardship and hunger,” Mr Mahama said while explaining that the NPP has not been fair to legitimate small scale miners who are not aligned to the ruling NPP.
“He [President Akufo-Addo] has not only collapsed your businesses, he has given your jobs to party cronies, his DCEs and party executives to mine in areas that you people should be getting your source of livelihoods,” the former president added.
To him, President Akufo-Addo did not promise the people such discriminattion hence when they go to the polls on December 7, they should kick the NPP government out and pave way for the next NDC government which will create avenues in the mining sector for qualified people to be returned back to their lands to work.
“When you bring us to power, we have a policy that will allow you to get back your excavators that were seized under the guise of tackling illegal mining (galamsey) under this government. We willensure you get back your jobs and mine in a responsible way that will not negatively affect the water bodies and arable lands,” Mr Mahama assured in Akan.
Mr Mahama who is on a tour of the region also pledged to prioritize job creation not in the mining sector but in other sectors of the economy where persons without mining skills can work and take care of their families.
“We will create jobs for the youth; those who want to be in the Forestry Commission will have the chance, same as those who want to be in the Military or Police Force,” he disclosed and hinted there will be training for youth in mining communities who want to operate heavy equipment in the mining sector.
Making a strong case for the youth, the NDC leader said, “We have better policies taxi drivers, the youth who want free apprenticesship and okada riders.”
Mr Mahama also unveiled Justice Abban, the Parliamentary candidate of the NDC for Tarkwa Nsuaem Constituency and rallied for him to be voted for in the upcoming polls to augment the efforts of the next NDC government in the area.