K’si Chiefs Declare Odike Persona Non Grata; after swashbuckling politician ‘pounds’ Manhyia over illegal mining in Ashanti

Akwasi Addai Odike

The Bantamahene, Baffour Owusu Amankwatia VI, has led other chiefs constituting the Kumasi Traditional Council (KTC) to slaughter a sheep to signify the banishment of the founder and leader of United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr. Akwasi Addai Odike, from the Manhyia Palace.

This was after the chiefs found comments made on a local radio station in Kumasi, Oyerepa FM, by the politician to be very distasteful, not only against Mahyia Palacebut the whole of the Ashanti Kingdom.

This means Odike, who is an Ashanti, cannot step foot in the Manhyia Palace until he purges himself of the traditional contempt that has been made against him.

The politician has so far not commented on the decision taken against him by the traditional leaders.

In the radio interview that has landed him in trouble, Odike went bonkers, accusing Manhyia Palace of being complicit in the destruction being caused to the environment in the Ashanti region by illegal miners.

According to him, Manhyia Palace is looking on unconcerned as arable lands, forests and water bodies among others, bequeathed to traditional leaders by their fore bearers to hold them in trust for the people are being destroyed by illegal miners.

He told the listeners that the late Osei Agyemang Prempeh bequeathed virgin lands and forest to Ashantis, but they are being destroyed today.

How are you going to account for the destruction that you have sat aloof to happen under your watch? If God calls you today, what account are you going to give to God? he asked in Twi (and translated into English by The Chronicle).

To Odike,Manhyia is complicit in the act, because when the late Wiafe Akenten, Paramount chief of Offinso stood his grounds and prevented illegal miners from destroying his traditional area, he was successful. But illegal mining has resurfaced in Offinsoafter his demise.

Odike argued that the environment we have is so precious that, if it is destroyed humanity will not survive, saying “When the last tree dies, the last man dies.”

In what could be described as a direct confrontation with Manhyia Palace, Odike fumed in Twi (translated by The Chronicle): “Otumfuo, all these paramount chiefs are under your control;Do you think what you are doing it good?

When you get the opportunity, you talk to politicians and deny being involved in galamsey, but you are involved in the galamsey, else it would not have gotten to this stage.

“Our lands and forests are being destroyed, what do you need all this money for? The elders whom we have put our trust in, this is how you are treating us?  Manhyia, if you do not wake up, I will stage a demonstration against you.

If you are not involved in this galamsey menace it would not have gotten to this level. I will organise the youth (Tchooboi!) for us to register our displeasure atManhyia because we have realised that you are part of the galamseyers.”

According to him, well-meaning Ghanaians have over the years spoken against galamsey severally, but traditional authorities have turned deaf ears to these admonitions, emphasising that: “When you get the platform, you accuse politicians of being the main drivers of galamsey, but you are neck deep in the act.”

Odike further challenged Manhyia Palace: “If itis not true that Manhyia has a hand in galamsey in the Ashanti region; they should come out and explain why they are clean; Why a chief sits aloof for someone from Accra to come to our communities to destroy our crops like cocoa and cassava, all in the name of galamsey.”

When he was challenged by the interviewer that Manhyia has mentioned at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology (KNUST) that it will punish chiefs who are intogalamsey, Odike responded that, the assertionby the King at KNUST was mere rhetoric and has even exacerbated the galamsey menace in the region.

He said: “They came to deceive, no action.”

An emotional Odike, who will not listen to his interviewer to calm down stated, “Oooh Lord Jesus! What kind of country were we born into? and asked Manhyia, “Do you think about us a little bit?”

“If you say you are sitting on gold, we have heard you,but you cannot sit on the gold alone. You will do it with someone.

You will hear from me soon –I am going to organise the youth. Manhyia should issue a statement to the chiefs warning them that it would not countenance illegal mining and that any chief found in the act would be summoned before it.”


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