The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has vowed to deal with any chief who is found to have engaged in illegal mining.
Speaking at the first edition of the Regional Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining on Wednesday, May 12, Otumfuo charged the chiefs to take responsibility and help protect the country’s resources.
“On my part, I have already warned my chiefs and elders against participation in such illegalities, and I will not hesitate to strongly sanction such infraction,” he stated.
Otumfuo said that until the government and all stakeholders confront the truth about the galamsey menace, the fight will be unsuccessful.
If we don’t speak the truth, we will keep deceiving ourselves with countless dialogues to no avail.”
He disclosed that he had earlier been impressed upon by the Lands Minister and Ashanti Regional Minister to stick to his speech in order not to generate controversy but he found it necessary to highlight these issues which he believes are impediments to winning the galamsey war.
“Yesterday [Tuesday], regional minister and my son [Samuel] Jinapor came to me and said ‘Nana please say what is in the speech’ and I said alright I will. They felt I will say something else that is controversial.”
“I told them that on this issue of galamsey when we divide the audience in this room into ten, 30 per cent of them will know those involved in galamsey…if you are not truthful, we will keep deceiving ourselves and be organizing conferences such as this,” he said
Speaking at the same event, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor said that government is not against small-scale mining but wants to sanitize the space to protect Ghana’s water and forest resources.
“This is about the preservation of our environment and ecosystem, it is about generations yet unborn. It is about the survival of our country, it is without a shred of equivocation about Ghana. The resolve of President Akufo-Addo is total and unflinching and we cannot afford to waver at any stage of the ongoing crusade.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and myself, I reiterate our unwavering commitment to getting on with this national crusade. Without fear or favour; blind to partisan colouration, blind to status in society and with absolute dedication. Together with God on our side, we must and we will preserve our environment.”