Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has stated that the claim by Former President John Dramani Mahama that he deported almost 5,000 Chinese nationals under his tenure is not true.
According to him, the figure when disaggregated will reveal that a bulk of the number put out by the former president was actually repatriated and not deported as he claimed.
The Member of Parliament for Offoase Ayirebi explained further in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM on September 13 that out of the 5,000 only a thousand were deported with the rest repatriated.
“Technically when you say deportation, it means something and there are some things that go alongside it. You notice for example that the former president has been suggesting that on his watch, 5,000 Chinese were deported.
“But technically, that is not true because deportations were just about a thousand (1,000) but yes about 4,000 people left the Ghanaian jurisdiction many of them repatriated, some voluntarily, some fled…you put it all together, it’s close to about 5,000. So it is not 5,000 deportations.
“If you hold on to “deportation”, the Former President Mahama will be held or fact-checked that no, that’s not correct,” Kojo Oppong said while insisting that Chinese galamsey kingpin Aisha Huang was repatriated.
In an interview with Accra-based TV3, Former President Mahama said he deported almost five thousand Chinese nationals who were engaged in illegal mining activities popularly called “galamsey”.
He said, however, that this action did not have any effect on the relationship between Ghana and China.
Mahama said he decided to deport the Chinese nationals not considering the relationship between the two countries stressing Ghanaians living in China will equally face the law in the Asian country when they breach it.
He was commenting on the recent rearrest of Chinese galamsey kingpin, Aisha Huang.
“When I was president, we value the relationship with China. But if you’re Ghanaian and you go to China and you engage in illegality, they don’t say because of the good relations they have with Ghana they are going to let you go scot-free.
“You will face the full rigours of the law in China and I don’t doubt that there are some of our citizens in jail in China. When I became president, I was faced with this same illegal gold mining.
“I deported almost 5,000 illegal Chinese miners. I didn’t say because of the good relations we have with China, we should allow them to continue to engage in this illicit activity. And we collaborated with the Chinese embassy, they got [Boeing] 747’s and came and took their nationals away. It didn’t destroy our relationships,” Mahama said.
Meanwhile, Aisha Huang is expected to stand trial today September 14, 2022, following her rearrest for engaging in galamsey-related activities.