Editorial: Okyenhene has set the pace


The Ghanaian Times reported on Friday, November 25, 2022, that the Benkumhene of Asamang Tamfoe in the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, Nana Darkwa, has been destooled by the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, for allegedly indulging in illegal mining activities.

According to the report, this was after he (Nana Darkwa) had allegedly admitted his involvement in illegal mining at Asamang Tamfoe, when he was summoned before the Akyem Abuakwa Judicial Council at Kyebi.

The story went on to state that the development followed a petition by a resident group, known as ‘Concerned Citizens of Asamang Tamfoe’, to the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council on November 9, 2022.

The residents accused the Benkumhene of engaging in illegal mining, which had caused the pollution of rivers and threatened livelihoods in the community.

The Ghanaian Times also published a picture it described as Nana Darkwa lying prostrate before the Okyenhene and pleading for clemency. However, the Okyenhene, after listening to his admissions on illegal mining and calling the bluff of the Okyeman Taskforce, made a consequential order for his destoolment.

The Overlord of Akyem Abuakwa insisted that the Benkumhene was not fit to be a chief due to his conduct.

According to Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, he would not relent on his resolve to crack the whip on any chief within the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area involved in illegal mining. He said some of the chiefs in the area, who were engaged in the illegal mining activities, were damaging the hard earned reputation of the traditional area, whilst destroying water bodies and arable lands.

Apart from what the Ghanaian Times published and the alleged comment made by the Okyenhene, The Chronicle does not have any evidence to support the allegation made against the Chief. However, if what the paper published is the truth, then we commend the Okyenhene for such a bold decision to destool the Chief.

It is important to note that the very existence of Ghana as a country is being threatened by illegal mining activities. The human race cannot survive without water, but, unfortunately, most of our creeks in the mining areas are becoming extinct due to heavy pollution. In places where these creeks are flowing through their natural courses, the water in it is so polluted with dangerous chemicals that no one dares fetch the water to drink.

Apart from the destruction being caused to the river bodies, the natural environment is also being destroyed.

The only people Ghanaians are expecting to deal with this obvious threat to our existence are both the government officials and our traditional rulers. If a chief who is supposed to be the custodian of the land is the one spearheading the destruction of the environment, then such a traditional ruler does not qualify to lead his people, hence our support for the position taken by Okyenhene to destool his sub-chief.

It is our prayer that other paramount chiefs will emulate what the Akyem Abuakwa Overlord has done to send strong signals to others that those who joke with our environment will pay the price for it.

The state has invested heavily in the fight against illegal mining, but the practice is still going on, because the financiers are making huge profits and do not want to quit the trade. Unfortunately, they are not the people who are always arrested by the law enforcement agencies – it is rather the poor labourers who have been hired that suffer the ultimate price – imprisonment.

In our view, if we are to totally kill the tree, then we must remove the roots, and not just attack the stem.


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