John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), says he will grant amnesty to all arrested galamsey operators if voted into office come 7 December.
Mahama was speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people at Adum Banso in the Western Region.
He said the NDC will give offenders a second chance to help them better their lives.
“When we come into power, I will grant amnesty to everyone who was arrested for operating in galamsey. I believe that these operators are remorseful towards any unlawful activities [sic], so we will give them another chance,” Mahama said.
Train small-scale miners
He added that every mining district in Ghana will be assigned professionals from the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa who will regulate and train all small-scale miners to ensure their safety at work.
The flagbearer said that an NDC government will also empower UMaT professionals to train small-scale miners in land reclamation.
This, he said, will minimise the death toll and the negative impact of mining on the environment.
Mahama urged the people of Adum Banso to vote massively for him and Eric Kyeremah, the young NDC candidate for the local seat, Mpohor.
He said the NDC has a well-planned policy that will develop small-scale mining. An NDC government will expand job opportunities in the mining sector to create wealth for the people, especially those living in mining areas, he said.
The NDC flagbearer said that, unlike under the NPP, a Mahama government will put political affiliation aside and ensure that a small-scale mining initiative benefits every worker in the sector.
“The Akufo-Addo government has allowed his party members to benefit from small scale-mining and has stopped people who are not affiliated to the NPP party to starve,” he claimed.