13:24, 10.Apr 2017
Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II has said even if he craved riches, illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) would not be an option for him.
“People are saying the palace is being dug [for galamsey]. Go round it and see. If I wanted to do mining, I would take my land, I don’t have to ask anybody, go to the Minerals Commission and secure proper licence to do proper mining.
“Why would I turn around and steal my land to engage in such dirt, galamsey? If I ever wanted to be rich, it won’t be going into mining, let alone galamsey,” the paramount chief of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area told TV3’s Hot Issues in a yet-to-be-aired interview scheduled for Saturday.
The traditional leader’s comments come on the heels of allegations that he is secretly engaged in the illegal small-scale mining business in his paramountcy. His critics have said the failure to uproot the practice in the Eastern Region is down to his alleged clandestine involvement in the business.
Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II expressed frustration at the situation where the perpetrators are watched by security officials to continue plundering the land and destroying the environment with their operations. “The excavators are there, it’s hard to catch a wife-beater, an internet fraudster or even somebody selling cocaine, so how come we see it and let it go? This thing is economic-driven and poverty-driven, short-gained profits and destroying the future of our children,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, about 544 excavators have been withdrawn from galamsey sites across the country following a 21-day ultimatum given by Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, which elapsed on Wednesday, April 19.
The Akufo-Addo government declared zero tolerance for galamsey shortly after taking office.