President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he is unsure if the notorious galamsey queen, Aisha Huang, was in fact deported in 2018 for engaging in illegal small scale mining or not.
Aisha Huang was arrested in 2018 and was believed to have been deported after she was found to have been engaged in illegal mining in the country.
Responding to angry Ghanaians on why she was deported and not prosecuted, the Senior Minister then, Yaw Osafo Maafo, in 2019 said jailing her in Ghana will not have solved the country’s economic problems.
Osafo Maafo cited Ghana’s diplomatic ties with China and the huge investments Chinese companies are making in developing the country’s infrastructure, including the $2 billion Sinohydro deal as some of the reasons Aisha Huang was deported.
Recently, the galamsey queen resurfaced and has been busted again for the same crime raising questions as to how a deportee got access back into the country.
Reacting to such concerns in an interview on a Ho-based radio station today, 13 September 2022, as part of his tour of the Volta Region, Mr Akufo-Addo expressed doubt if she was truly deported.
He said: “I’m not still sure whether she was in fact deported. Or whether she fled the country the first time and has now come back. There still seems to be some uncertainty about it.
“But whichever way it is, she’s become the sort of nickname for all that galamsey represents”, he added.
The President reiterated his fight against galamsey saying his administration has intensified the fight, instituted stiffer punishment and enlightened Ghanaians to the extent that knowledge of the crime has become more popular among the citizenry than ever.
“We have concerted to work at it. We need to have the coorporation of the courts. Until recently when I came, the punishment for people caught was relatively light. [But] we’ve changed the law to stiffen the punishment for people caught,” he stated.
“The efforts have brought a lot of fruits first of all. Galamsey is now a subject of national discussion. Everywhere you go, there’s this matter of galamsey. We’ve at least achieved this purpose of heightening consciousness about it as an evil.
“When I came, nobody was talking about galamsey. Since we came and focused on it, it is now the subject of discussions in homes, in offices, in meetings and all across Ghana. So that’s one positive development”, he stressed.