Fighting galamsey in Ashanti Region; Otumfuo commended for destooling chief

Some residents in the Amansie areas of the Ashanti Region have commended the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for destooling the Chief of Abodom near Bekwai in the Ashanti Region over 20 offences including galamsey .

They said by that singular act, the King has kept to his warning on various platforms to hold his chiefs accountable for illegal mining in their jurisdictions.

Nana Osaforo Koto II who had been on the stool for seven years, was destooled by the Asantehene during the Kumasi Traditional Council meeting at the Manhyia Palace on Thursday August 10, 2023, after he failed to answer charges including selling lands in the area for galamsey, which were brought against him by some elders of the town.

King’s wrath
Following the development, The Thunder has gathered that many chiefs , especially those in galamsey-endemic areas of the region are living in a state of panic as they fear the possibility of the King extending his ‘wrath’ to those areas .

Erring chiefs
Sources in the Amansie areas said, the decision by Otumfuo to punish the ex-Abodomhene has reminded other chiefs that the King is not going to tolerate erring chiefs .

An opinion leader at Manso Nkwanta in the Amansie West District told The Thunder that if Otumfuo continues with the sanctioning of more offending chiefs, some sanity will be restored. “Our rivers and farming lands have been destroyed by galamsey operators so Otumfuo should be commended for destooling the Abodom chief, “ the source said.

The source expressed the hope that the Abodom case will serve as a warning to others that the Asantehene in not going to tolerate any illegality.

According to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, 25 out of the 43 districts in the Ashanti Region are affected by galamsey, with all the attendant devastating consequences. Forest reserves including the Bosomtwe Range Forest Reserve in the Bekwai Forest District and rivers including Offin, Oda and Subriso have been seriously affected .

Otumfuo’s warning
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 and added that he will take a drive around the areas affected by galamsey.

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