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Opinions of Monday, 24 May 2021

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Are Ghanaian chiefs partly blamable for the devastating galamsey going on in Ghana?

File photo of a galamsey site File photo of a galamsey site

Who is to be blamed for the ongoing increased devastating surface and alluvial mining activities in Ghana?

Whether the activities are illegal or not, could the traditional chiefs in areas seeing intensive galamsey activities not be partly blamed for the havoc wreaked on the water bodies, fertile and arable lands and the forests?

Are the traditional chiefs not the custodians of the lands? Are they not responsible for ensuring that anything that has the potential to adversely affect the collective safety and protection of their subjects does not take place on their cadastral land?

If water bodies and arable lands and forests are wantonly being destroyed on their land by greedy and merciless surface miners to the obvious detriment of their subjects, should they not voice out against it?

Could they not register their dissatisfaction with the destructive activities of the miners by calling the attention of the government to it even if the government has sanctioned the mining in the area?

Does silence not mean consent? Therefore, if a chief watches while his land, water bodies on his land and other precious commodities of collective benefit to his subjects are being destroyed by outsiders in search of wealth at the expense of his subjects, is he not equally culpable of the harm being caused?

What at all are the reasons for electing chiefs to rule their people? What are their duties, if I should reframe the question? Could they not intervene to prevent the damage being done to their environment, especially when such damages are illegally being caused?

Will a chief who sit nonchalantly or connive with others to bring about the destruction of the riches of his land not count as a wicked, irresponsible and unworthy leader? Does it matter if such an irresponsible chief is insulted to his face or behind his back, irrespective of his highly elevated position?

If he were wise, responsible and care about his people, would he supervise the destruction of his land or keep mute when his land comes under such heavy devastation by unscrupulously myopic greedy Ghanaians and their foreign accomplices?

Any chief that behaves that irresponsibly, watching without taking any action when his land and water bodies on his land have come under that massively irredeemable devastation as seen to be done by the ongoing galamsey activities in Ghana, should count himself a failure hence unfit for his position.

Chiefs who sit down doing nothing while their lands and people suffer because of galamsey, should count themselves as misfits and deserve to be told off by the irate youths however they deem it fit.