The Western Regional Minister Hon. Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah on Wednesday, March 17th received the new General Officer Commanding (GOC) Southern Command, Brigadier General Amoah Ayisi.
Brigadier General Amoah Ayisi who succeeds Brigadier General Abraham Yeboah Nsiah to take charge of the Southern Command paid the courtesy call on the minister as the administrative head of the region to express his willingness to work in tandem in maintaining the peace and serenity in the region, in the wake of potential threats to stability.
In his address, Brigadier General Amoah Ayisi was delighted to meet the minister in person. He underscored how resourced the Western Region is, which makes it a lucrative destination for all manner of persons, including criminals.
“…the proximity to Cote D’Ivoire opens the doors for a lot of the ex-combatants to come in here, because when they are in those mining enclaves; the security nature of our country is not like those in Britain, and so most of these people cannot be policed or tracked seriously, so they feel more comfortable in those areas. We under Operation Calm Life are supposed to ensure that there is peaceful co-existence,” he said.
He also used the opportunity of the encounter to bring the attention of the minister to the tendency of people to employ violence to engage in the community mining projects, posing danger to the state. He impressed on the regional administration to intervene to encourage people to use the legal processes rather than violence, as that will compel the military to intervene with force.
The Western Regional Minister who also doubles as the MP for Takoradi was happy to receive Brigadier General Amoah Ayisi and his entourage. He touted the decent relationship that has existed between the military and the regional administration while agreeing that the State of Ghana cannot just watch on for citizens or otherwise to usurp state power for personal gain. He admitted that the Government’s battle to halt illegal mining has not been successful, sighting conflict of interest, which includes some officers of the armed forces. He however intimated that following the new mandate given by the Minister of Lands and Naturals Resources, he is ready when he meets the Regional Security Council to re-strategize to nib the ‘Galamsey’ phenomenon in the bud.
“What has happened in the past should go. We should take it anew and definitely, all the armed forces; military, police, customs (etc.), now will be getting more involved in some of these things so that we nib it in the bud”, he said, adding that … “already I have given instructions to my district chief executives that they should take inventory of all places that ‘Galamsey’ or illegal activities are taking place, so that when we go forward and the MMDCEs are not acting properly, we here can know how to deal with the matter.”
He emphasized that the regional administration is ready to cooperate with the military as partners for development. He also thanked the army for the support the government has received thus far. He impressed on the military invest in the region as well to create employment for the youth.