Today, tune in to most current affairs radio talk shows and most likely than not, the conversation about illegal mining (galamsey) would be discussed.
Most of the conversation about galamsey today is about the burning of excavators and the protection of our water bodies.
The fight to stop illegal mining for gold and other precious metals did not start today. It has been decades of fight undercut by how lucrative the dark market of the minerals trade is.
In this fight, while people have lost their livelihoods and money, some have actually paid the ultimate prize by lossing their life.
One of such people whose passing was a shock to the country was Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama, now posthomously promoted to the rank of Major.
He was an officer with the 5th Infantry Battalion of the Ghana Army until May 29, 2017, when he met his untimely death when he was lynched at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region.
He was the Commander of a Military Detachment stationed at Diaso in the Upper Denkyira District to check galamsey activities.
On the morning of his death, he left his Detachment Base for a walk/jogging wearing civilian clothing meanwhile, he carried his sidearm.
According to the police, while on his walk, he purchased snail and it was when he was paying for the snail that the trader saw the gun. She then called her assemblyman to report what she had seen.
Without verifying the information, the Assemblyman mobilized the townsfolk to prepare to attack an armed robber who had been sighted by the women who sell at the outskirts of the town. It was then that Major Mahama was met on the road and lynched, the police said.
He paid with his life while on a mission to stop galamsey activities, yet four years on nothing has been done to make his passing meaningful.
While most have moved on, his widow, Barbara Mahama is keeping the memory of him alive. Together, they had two sons.
So far, justice has still not been served. 14 people are currently standing trail for their involvement in the incident.
Last month, 11 out of the 14 suspects claimed in court that the police forced them to confess to killing Major Mahama.
The case has not been put to bed and galamsey remains an endemic environmental problem.
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