OTUMFUO DESCENDS ON ASHANTI CHIEFS
… Over alleged complexity in galamsey operations
From Sebastian R. Freiku, Manhyia Palace, Kumasi
CHIEFS WHO connive with Chinese nationals and indulge in illegal mining activities to the detriment of the environment, development and the quality of life of indigenes are likely to face the wrath of the occupant of the Golden Stool, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene.
The Asantehene has indicated that he would not spare any chief caught in complexity of illegal mining. He has also warned chiefs against sale of lands, which proceeds do not benefit the people.
The Asante King, who was addressing the Asanteman Council meeting last Monday on his return from an Investment tour of Israel, criticized the engagement of Chinese nationals to do illegal mining resulting in the wanton destruction of the lands and river bodies.
He blamed some chiefs for the influx of the Chinese nationals, arguing that the Chinese might not have the slightest idea of where the Manso state, including Kumpese, Manso Nsiana, Manso Mim, Manso Akropong and Manso Nkwanta are located, had it not been with the active and direct connivance of local chiefs and some politicians.
The Asantehene indicated that he would take offence it comes to his attention that some chiefs are supervising these illegal mining activities without restraint in their areas.
Otumfuo queried the audacity of Chinese nationals to dare to pull sophisticated weapons at indigenes who raise concerns affecting their livelihood.
He cautioned that he would deal drastically with any chief who is incriminated by any report to be involved or encouraging illegal mining in their areas, saying there would be no excuse for such chiefs.
According to the Asantehene, illegal mining is destructive and that chiefs must preserver their lands for investments and bring real development to their areas for the benefit of the people.
He reminded Nananom that theirs was to serve and ensure that they bring relief to their subjects through development projects, and not to lord it over them.
The Asantehene noted that lands are good tools for investment and development for the benefit of the entire citizenry and not meant for chiefs to enrich themselves.
He said Asanteman would as usual not rely on government for development, as it (government) concentrates development in Accra and cautioned chiefs against deliberate attempts to undermine the development agenda of Asanteman.
As a result, Otumfuo Osei Tutu has stressed the need for chiefs to explore available resources to develop their areas and improve the lot of their subjects. “You must be ready to release lands to genuine investors to help improve the lives of the people,” he charged.
He advised chiefs to reserve lands for development projects which would be beneficial to their communities instead of allowing the Chinese to destroy them.
Meanwhile, Israeli investors are due in Kumasi in October, this year, to help execute Asanteman’s development agenda in the areas of education, agriculture and housing, as initiated by the Asantehene.
Briefing members of the Asanteman Council, the Adontehene of Kumasi, Nana Adu Gyamfi, a member of Otumfuo’s entourage to Israel, said Capital Vital Fund Company has been engaged to develop estates at Prabon, near Sewua.
He said the Israeli government would assist in the area of education, for which Patriarch Latinos has been engaged to execute the programmes in this area.
Adontehene also announced that Adama Project would undertake water projects in Accra and its environs which face perennial water problems.
Members of the Otumfuo entourage to Israrel included Oheneba Akwasi Abayie, Akonfrehene, Oheneba Kwame Kyeretwie, Apagyahene and Baffour Kogyawoasu Ababio, Nsumankwahene.
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