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General News of Monday, 24 April 2017

Source: Classfmonline.com

Apologise to Okyenhene for galamsey comments – Group to Aburihene

The Okyeman Youth Association (OYA) has called on the Aburihene, Otobour Gyan Kwasi, to render apology to the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, for passing a derogatory remark about him.

According to the youth, the Aburihene had remarked that the Okyenhene and two other Akyem chiefs were complicit in the extensive illegal mining in the Akyem area.

Addressing a press conference at Kyebi on Monday April 24, the General Secretary of OYA, Nana Yaw Osene-Akwah, said it was unfortunate for the Aburihene to make such an "insulting" remark against the Okyenhene when he had the opportunity to suggest solutions to curb the illegal mining menace in the Eastern Region.

Meanwhile, the Okyenhene has debunked allegations of his involvement in galamsey, which he described as “dirty”.

He said if he craved riches, illegal mining 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,” the paramount chief of the Akyem Abuakwa traditional area told TV3’s Hot Issues.

“Why will 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.”

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Meanwhile, about 544 excavators have been withdrawn from galamsey sites across the country following a 21-day ultimatum given by Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, which elapsed on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.