The Overlord of Akyem Abuakwa State, Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has warned chiefs in the Abuakwa Traditional area to stay off activities of illegal mining popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’, or face demotion and destoolment.
According to the environmentalist, the continuous involvement of chiefs aiding illegal miners in their various traditional areas has become a source of worry for the traditional council which needs urgent and punitive sanctions to preserve the environment and water bodies for the next generation.
Addressing Chiefs at a council of state meeting at the Ofori Panin Fie in Kyebi, Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin warned that any chief found culpable will be destooled or demoted.
“We are united by ecology, we need to respect nature, our forefathers engaged in mining, but not in the manner we are doing now, they were not struck down by constant disease outbreaks. They lived to be 85, 90 years and above. We are living longer, but we are getting sick because of these activities”.
“The mercury used in galamsey activities is having implications on our health, stop the illegal mining, any chief who engages in galamsey will be destooled or demoted,” he warned.
Okyenhene further urged chiefs and their elders to register royals in their families at the state registry to aid in smooth succession plans and reduce litigation and chieftaincy disputes.
“The unnecessary fights over who is the rightful royal and who is not should be stopped, if you are not a royal, don’t claim to be one. Ensure that all royals are registered to avoid chieftaincy disputes,” he entreated.
He charged parents to prevent their children and wards from engaging in illegal mining and rather send them to schools.
“Why should you let SHS people engage in illegal mining when there’s free SHS policy. Quality time that he’s supposed to be learning in the classroom, then he’s seen engaging in galamsey. Parents should try and stop their children from these activities by sending them to school come next year 2023,” he advised.