The Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Samuel Kofi Hiave Dzamesi, has commended Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, for constituting a five-member committee of Paramount Chiefs within the Asanteman to find a lasting solution to the galamsey menace.
Mr Dzamesi made the commendation in an address to five paramount chiefs and queens at Bekwai on a sensitisation workshop on illegal mining, popularly called galamsey, organised by his ministry.
He expressed his appreciation to the Otumfuo Committee which has since started working in close collaboration with the Inter Ministerial Committee on Galamsey.
The workshop was a follow-up to the meeting organised by the ministry in Accra in July this year for some traditional chiefs in whose jurisdiction galamsey operations were on the ascendancy.
Mr Dzamesi said galamsey operators did not contribute part of the revenue realised from their operations to the development of the area they were operating.
He appealed to Nananom not to release their land to galamsey operators and urged them to take steps that could bring sanity into the system.
The Queen of Bekwai, Nana Adwoa Pinamang, advised the youth to refrain from engaging in galamsey and to pursue education to transform their lives.
Nana Pinamang emphasised that those who could not go to school could also take advantage of the government's current policy initiatives on Planting for Food and Jobs as an alternative means of livelihood.
Region representative to the Council of State
The Ashanti Region Representative to the Council of State, Nana Owusu Akyaw Brempong, for his part, noted that the effect of the galamsey operations when not checked would affect generation unborn.
He advised the chiefs to join hands with the government to clamp down on the activities of the illegal miners.
He commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for taking a pragmatic decision to put an end to the national canker.
In his view, the clampdown on those nation wreckers needed the concerted efforts of all to ensure that it was uprooted in every part of the country.
Nana Adu Gyamfi, Otumfuo’s Adontenhene and the chairman of the five-member committee on galamsey, named the other four Amanhene on the committee as Obogumanhene, Nana Oduro Apenteng Darkwa, Nana Nsuase Poku, Otumfuo’s Akyeamehene, Nana Bi-Kusi, Manso-Nkwantamanhene, and Nana Frimpong Anokye, Agonamanhene.
Nana Osei Kwadwo Ababio, the Bekwaihene, who chaired the function, called on the security agencies to cooperate but not to compromise on ending galamsey.
Other Amanhene at the meeting were from Adankrangya, Amoafo, Essumegya and Kokofu.