General News of Saturday, 27 April 2013
The Paramount Chief of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council, Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin II, has strongly denied allegations that he is clandestinely involved in illegal mining, otherwise known as ‘galamsey’ through surrogates and assigns.
A member of the Asona royal family of Kyebi, Odehye Nana Adjei Boateng, in August 2011, accused the paramount chief of endorsing illegal mining in his area. Describing the accusations against him as “frivolous”, Okyenhene Amoatia Oforii Panyin said: “If I were after gold, I would have dug out all the lands and concessions within the Akyem enclave”.
He added that: “Gold is something I never crave because I respect God’s creation and nature”.
Amoatia Oforia Panyin made the denial when the new Regional Minister, Helen Adjoa Ntoso, paid a courtesy call on him at his Palace in Kyebi after a familiarisation tour of the area.
He said contrary to the allegations, he has rather been at the forefront of fighting against illegal mining in the area.
“I have collaborated with past regional ministers including Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and Victor Smith in fighting against illegal mining in the area but to no avail,” he told Adjoa Ntoso.
He said he has held countless “meetings with [the] Minerals Commission…with [the] Police, with Military men, with CIDS…but all to no avail”.
The president of the eastern regional house of chiefs said the illegal practise is polluting “water bodies in the country”.
He named the Pra, Birim, Ankobra and Densu Rivers as some of the water bodies affected by the practise.