The Asantehene will call chiefs in the Ashanti Region whose territories have been invaded by illegal miners for inquiry and perhaps punishment.
Chiefs shouldn’t be complacent, according to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, since illicit mining activities devastate waterways and agricultural farmlands.
According to him, the never-ending battle against “galamsey” has been made worse by certain chiefs’ refusal to refuse illegal concessions.
“Next year, any Chief whose lands have been invaded will have to be summoned and questioned. If we visit your land and it has been destroyed by ‘galamsey’ activities, we will question why you watched unconcerned for the lands and water bodies under your custody to be harmed. And if you’re unable to give valid reasons, we will sanction you so you learn a lesson and protect your land from the havoc,” Otumfour made a point.
The Asantehene’s remarks come in response to a request for summoning authority made by chiefs in the Ashanti Region to aid in the fight against “galamsey.”
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II stated during a general assembly of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs that chiefs who let ‘galamsey’ to enter their towns are involved in the crime.
“If the miners appear before you that they have mining rights and you allow them to destroy your water sources and lands then you are complicit. If we don’t fight it but rather take bribes from them to enrich yourself, what about the people you rule? Let’s be honest. Some chiefs are contributing to the menace,” Otumfuo said.
The Ashanti Region continues to be devastated by illegal mining, especially in places along the Offin River.
The threat of unlawful mining has harmed water sources and agricultural plants.
The Asantehene was offended by the comment and disputed with claims that traditional councils lack the authority to forbid mining operations on their grounds.
“We are the lands’ caretakers. We pledged devotion to safeguard them. But did you speak up when visitors from outside started destroying the lands?
They should devastate the land and water because of the penny they paid to you, right?
Politicians are acting badly, it’s true, but we traditional leaders have a responsibility to refuse any compromises.
The Asantehene stated that because the government will murder us as a result, they should do so.
Daasebere Osei Bonsu II, the highest ranking chief of Asante Mampong, questioned the employment of security guards to offer unlicensed protection to illicit mining operations in several forest areas.
A few chiefs are concerned. When they go to illicit mining areas, they occasionally see the miners under military or police protection.
Who dispatched the troops or police there?
If you were to inquire of the Ashanti Regional Commander as to who sent them there, he would be unable to provide any evidence.
The ruler of the Asante kingdom’s Silver Stool questioned, “Why must this happen?