The Media Coalition Against Galamsey has commended the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for showing leadership in the fight against illegal mining.
“Otumfuo is walking the talk in the galamsey fight,” the convener of the Coalition, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey said.
Nana Osaforo Koto II who had been on the Bekwai-Abodom 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.
Commenting on the matter, Dr. Ashigbey said by destooling the chief, Otumfuo has demonstrated his determination to fight galamsey in his Kingdom.
Other chiefs destooled by the Asantehene in the last four months are Nana Kwaku Duah III, Abuontemhene; Nana Kwame Owusu Agyeman, Antoahene; Nana Nketia Boampong II, Kwasohene, and Nana Osei Tiri Ababio, Nkonsonhene.
Dr. Ashigbey urged the government to emulate the actions of Otumfuo by dismissing government officials who are found guilty of engaging in illegal mining activities.
“This is what we expect of leadership and I completely agree with Otumfuo that if you are a chief, and you have galamsey happening in your community, you are either complicit and are deeply involved in it or you are incompetent and in both cases, you are not worthy of being the chief or leader of the people. And I think this is the Asantehene walking the talk and so it is the same action that we require of the President.”
Meanwhile, residents of Sukwei, Dweneho, and Asempanaye in the Atwima Nwabiagya North and Ahafo Ano South West districts of the Ashanti Region have appealed to the Asantehene to intervene and deal with illegal mining and the illegal sale of lands.
According to the residents, the activities of illegal miners are destroying their cocoa farms, water bodies, and forests. The residents said traditional leaders in the area had adopted measures to deal with the problem, but they would need the support of the King to help them.