Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, the Okyehene, has called for the arrest and prosecution of any chief found culpable of masterminding any illegal mining activity in the country.
“Any chief who is aware that it is illegal to do galamsey and still gives out land for such purpose must be arrested,” he said.
He said this following the allegation that some chiefs were selling out parcels of land to illegal miners to mine and this is leading to environmental degradation.
Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin was speaking at his palace at Kyebi when Mrs Helen Adjoa Ntoso, the Eastern Regional Minister and her Deputy, Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong, paid a courtesy call on him at the weekend.
Ms Ntoso expressed regret as to how the illegal miners are even digging tarred roads for their illegal activities.
The regional minister said she and her deputy were going to work hand-in-hand with the EPA, the Forestry Commission and the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to end the menace.
The Okyehene said chiefs were not behind illegal mining in the Akyem Abuakwa area but rather the main culprits were the respective landlords and cocoa farmers who leased out their lands to the illegal miners.
He said he had set out on several occasions to stop the illegal mining by himself at their sites but the miners threw stones at his car.
The Okyehene said the political will was needed to end the canker in the area, adding that the temporal swoops being undertaken by the security personnel on the orders of the regional ministers was not making the needed impact.
“A persistent enforcement of the law and the persistent deployment of security personnel on daily basis to the galamsey sites is the only remedy,” he said.