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I’ll return seized mining concessions to original owners – Mahama

Former President John Mahama says he will return mining concessions which have wrongfully taken from their original owners back to them if he wins the December polls.

Speaking at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi Wednesday while introducing his running mate to Otumfuo Osei Tutu, Mr Mahama said an NDC government will ensure equitable distribution of national resources.

“The other time, I was speaking about small scale mining business. People paid money to acquire concessions legally from the Mineral Commission. When there was a change of government, those concessions, have been taken away from those people and given to those they want to give it to. We’re all one people in Ghana, everyone must benefit from our country, regardless of where you come from. Whether an Ashanti, Akyem, Ga, Ewe or Dagomba, we’re all Ghanaians,” Mr Mahama said.

He stressed: “Lately it looks like we’re being selective, if you don’t belong to a certain party, they take away your concession. They have taken away people’s excavators to give to party members to work.

“The NDC is, however, saying that, we stand for social justice, so God willing when we come back into power, we’ll correct all these mistakes, we’ll retrieve the concessions and give them back to the rightful owners. We’ll make laws such that the country will benefit from the mining without destroying our lands and water bodies.”

He also promised to ensure the efficient management of small scale mining in the country.

“Nana, we will monitor and ensure that small scale mining is done well to save the environment while opening the gate for a lot of job opportunities for our youth in the mining sector,” Mr Mahama said in Akan as he also hinted of introducing task force and Mining Safety Officers who will ensure that plowing of land is done in a safe manner in the country.

“We don’t have to abuse people with soldiers because they want to fend for their families. We only need laws to regulate that kind of mining in the country because when we do that well, it will create wealth for our youth”.

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