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Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, has appealed to the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, to set up a committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the burning of heavy-duty vehicles used for illegal sand winning activities in the Northern Region.
He made the call in Parliament on Tuesday, 13 March.
Last week, some members of the operation Vanguard task force set ablaze 14 tipper trucks and an excavator.
The action followed several warnings to the sand winners in the Kumbungu District to stop their activity which was said to be threatening the Dalun River, a major source of water supply to the people in the region.
It attracted flaks from the Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Naa Andani Yakubu Abdulai. In a statement, the Kampakuya called for appropriate compensation packages for the victims.
The statement read: “It is with great sorrow that I learnt of the military action on Saturday, 3 March, at Afayili, near Dalung, in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region, which saw 14 Tipper Trucks, an excavator, several motorbikes and other equipment reduced to ashes.
“While I appreciate the concerns of the authorities for the environment and the negative impact of sand winning on the principal source of potable water for the metropolis and several other communities, such wanton violence appears to be at total variance with the rule of law that we all cherish and seek to promote in our country. I believe that the authorities could have handled the situation in a much better way than the preferred violent option which imposes grave economic hardships on several families in an economic environment already characterised by serious unemployment.
“It is my sincere hope that His Excellency the President and the Military High Command will investigate this sad development and take steps to ensure that such acts are not repeated. It is important to state that I fully support His Excellency the President’s policy to end galamsey and other illegal mining activities in Ghana but do not find the burning of expensive equipment to be in the best interest of our motherland.
“I also hereby call for the early intervention of His Excellency the President to ensure the payment of appropriate compensation to the owners of the illegally destroyed equipment and machinery which have hitherto been a source of livelihood for several families. The inhabitants of the village and the Divisional Chief of the area are traumatised as a result of this act of brutality. I call on them, on the vehicle owners and on the drivers to remain calm in the hope that, the competent authorities will act early to make good the losses imposed on them.
“I avail myself of this opportunity to extend to all Dagboŋ and Ghana at large, best wishes for a happy 61st anniversary.”