The Secretary to Okyenhene, DM Ofori-Atta has denied the involvement of the Okyenhene and the Akyem Abuakwa stool in galamsey activities in the area.
Reacting to a Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) report which claimed that Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II was behind galamsey in Eastern region and Akyem Abuakwa lands in particular, DM Ofori-Atta said the chiefs are always shocked at perception that Okyenhene is involved in galamsey activities.
The BNI report, he said is based on widely held speculations that the Okyenhene is complicit in the illegal activity and not based on any concrete evidence.
He further challenged the BNI to trace the history of galamsey in Akyem Abuakwa as that help them come to a conclusion that galamsey activities on Akyem Abuakwa lands began with the NDC’s ‘Youth in Mining’ model of the National Youth Employment programme.
Akyem Abuakwa lands, he said was selected as part of the areas where the model was to be implemented.
“It is only people who hate Okyenhene who are busily working to destroy the image of Akyem Abuakwa and that of Okyenhene…go back to history and you will know that galamsey started in Akyem lands started in 2009 when late Prof Mills when in government introduced the model, Youth in mining…,” he said.
The Okyenhene scribe further alleged that then Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Baba Jamal came into Akyem lands with some male members of the NDC from his constituency, Akwatia, who started exploiting gold in Akyem lands. The Akwatia youth, he said introduced Akyem Abuakwa indigenes into galamsey actities.
“The government bought excavators for some of the boys. Kyebi boys did not know anything about mining and galamsey. Baba Jamal as Deputy Eastern Regional Minister brought boys from Akwatia who trained the Akyem Abuakwa boys in galamsey…,” he alleged further.
DM Ofori-Atta also claimed that the government of Prof Mills did not consult the traditional council because constitution entrusts all minerals in Ghana in the government.
The man who denied widely held rumours that galamsey activities goes on some few metres from Okyenhene’s palace, said the Okyenhene out of frustration reported the illegal mining activities to then Eastern Regional Minister and now Vice Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo.
“Nananom do not control the coercive powers of the state, so what should Nananom do…it’s the state that can do something about it…when we reported to the Minister, Ofosu-Ampofo brought in soldiers who arrested the Kyebi boys and let the Akwatia boys off the hook because they are NDC members,” he claimed.
Not satisfied with this, the Okyenhene, he said, also went to the offices of late Mills to complain about the problem.
“Okyenhene has said that any chief involved in galamsey should be arrested, what has been done about it? It was under Inusah Fuseini that the seed of galamsey was sown in Okyenman…,” he said.
Responding to the allegation, the Central Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Allotey Jacobs said he was surprised at the explanation offered by the traditional head’s scribe as galamsey began in Kyebi long before Mills became President.
According to him, the Youth in Mining module under GYEEDA started under former President Kufour and hence could not fathom why the blame would be laid at the doorstep of late Professor Mills.
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