Fear has gripped chiefs in the Amansie area of the Ashanti Region following the warning by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to deal with any of them who allows illegal mining to go on in their communities.
At the launch of the 2023 Green Ghana Day in Kumasi on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, Otumfuo expressed grave concern about the rate at which galamsey is causing havoc in the Amansie enclave and indicated that chiefs within such communities would have questions to answer.
“I’m not happy with chiefs in the Amansie area where galamsey has taken over the land and I say to them if you sit there and you think that you don’t know what is happening, then you are not fit to be a chief over there.
“ I have gotten reports about what is happening and all the chiefs in that area have to answer about what is happening in their area,” he said adding that he will take a drive round the areas affected by galamsey.
Since Otumfuo read the riot act to his chiefs in the area, they have been strategizing on how to ensure normalcy in order to avoid sanctions from the Asantehene.
Checks conducted by The Thunder in the communities indicated that some of the chiefs have met to see how best to overcome the challenge.
But, some residents wondered how the chiefs can save the situation given the complexities, and also as some of the chiefs are allegedly complicit in the activities.
“ The Asantehene’s warning is timely looking at the destruction caused to the environment by galamsey operators but I’m not sure the chiefs will be able to do anything to save themselves from blame,” a resident of Manso Nkwanta in the Amansie West District who pleaded anonymity said in an interview.
2023 has been declared an action year by His Majesty and he has indicated that he would not care about any chief within his jurisdiction who will be affected by his sanctions.
“I know some of the chiefs have benefitted from illegal miners. It is a fact that we have to accept and appreciate. We cannot hide under anything by saying that we don’t know what is happening.”