The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has cautioned members of Operation Vanguard (the anti-galamsey taskforce) against the taking of gifts (bribes) that people might try to offer to induce them in the course of their operations.
He stated that Operation Vanguard had started its task of stopping illegal mining also known as galamsey, remarkably so far.
Otumfuo said the good work of the taskforce had attracted praises and applause from the citizenry, but warned that it should kick against bribes because that could derail its good cause.
“We are aware of your good work so far, which has contributed immensely to a sharp drop in galamsey activities, thereby saving the environment, especially water bodies from pollution and possible extinction.
“But you should be mindful that the people who are directly affected negatively by your operations, will definitely try to bribe some of you in order to have their way through and still indulge in the illegal mining.
“I am therefore urging you to watch against any possible financial or whatever influence by such people to reduce the potency of your work,” the Asantehene admonished.
The occasion was when the members of the taskforce paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Region, to brief him on their operations in the region and the country at large.
The Operation Vanguard informed Otumfuo that its operations had so far yielded positive results as galamsey activities in the region had sharply dropped in recent months.
It also said water bodies in the region, which hitherto were being destroyed by the operations of illegal miners, are now coming back to life as the pollution with mining chemicals had ceased.
Otumfuo also charged the members to give a human face to their operations, adding that in the line of their duties, they should desist from violent attacks.
He entreated them not to cause injuries or deaths to the people whilst trying to save the environment, noting that the human resource base of the country is equally important and so must be protected as well.
The Asante king also implored the public, especially chiefs and opinion leaders in the various communities, to render the needed support to Operation Vanguard since its duty is meant to protect the environment.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Elizabeth Agyeman aka People’s Mother, who was former Member of Parliament (MP) for Oforikrom in Kumasi as well as some prominent chiefs graced the occasion at the Manhyia Palace.