The Christian Council of Ghana has presented an action plan on the fight against illegal mining to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, in Accra.
The council pledged its unflinching support to the fight and members’ preparedness to collaborate with the government to end the practice.
"We present to you a copy of our press release for you to please assimilate and see where our hearts are; we beg you from the depth of our hearts to ensure that galamsey is gotten rid of from the society," he said.
The presentation, which was made in Accra yesterday, was led by the Chairman of the council, Rt Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante.
Others were the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Most Rev. Dr Paul K Boafo; the President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso, and the General-Secretary of the GPCC, Apostle Immanuel Tettey.
The rest were the General-Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr Cyril Fayose; the Secretary-General of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC), Rev. Fr Lazarus Anondie, and the Founder of Salt and Light Ministries, Rev. Joyce Aryee.
According to Rt Rev. Mante, the involvement of the council in the war against galamsey was necessary, saying, while the government was tackling the structural issues, the council “would tackle the hearts of people”.
"When people's hearts are not transformed, they will go back to the same things and so we as leaders of the churches, we have pledged to work hard on the hearts of men and women in this country while the government also sits up to make the system work by making sure that the laws are enforced," he added.
Rt Rev. Mante further indicated that the clergy would, from this coming Sunday, wear red bands as a sign of protest against illegal mining.
"Every Sunday, ministers will wear this red band in protest. Anyone who has a problem with our prayers at the galamsey site should go back to school. We will pray everywhere. It is very evil, it is very evil, it is very evil so if you see us praying take it seriously," he said.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, assured the council that his outfit would fight the battle to the end.
"The lands, water bodies and forest constitute a nation, and so we find illegal mining as a threat to the survival of the country.
“The government is committed to this fight in the atmosphere of transparency, integrity and good faith, " he said.
According to Mr Jinapor, he had been engaging various bodies due to the President’s quest to mobilise broad-based national support for the ongoing fight.
“The President has met the National House of Chiefs, I have met the Council of State, the 16 Regional Houses of Chiefs, and today, I am meeting with the leadership of the Christian Council — so far, it's been fruitful," he said.
The minister thanked the council for the support, saying “on behalf of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, we are fully committed just as you in your efforts at protecting the environment and our country”.
“I am grateful to you all, especially for your statement of assurance in combating this menace,” he added.