“I Shed Tears When I Was Tagged With Galamsey” – Okyenhene
Osagyefuo Amotia Ofori Panin, the Okyenhene, has disclosed that he was saddened by accusations that he was engaged in galamsey in 2014.
He said the accusations affected him immensely and he has since not recovered from it.
Speaking in an interview on Asaase Radio in Accra, the Okyenhene said those who made the allegations at that time knew it was untrue yet they went ahead and did it.
“The point is, Article 257(6) [of the Constitution] places all the natural resources in their [central government] hands for protection for future generations. They need to protect them. We [the chiefs] do not have coercive force. I tried to use my people to drive them away and we were facing danger every day and people didn’t know.”
“At one time in my relationship with the then Chief of Defence Staff, I begged him. I said it [galamsey] was getting out of hand and we should probably organise some of the military people to come here [Kyebi]. They did and within a week the whole thing has been shut down. A week later they [the politicians] called them [military] and said ‘don’t you know it’s an election year?”
He added, “So I’ve shed tears of anger and frustration where I sit about this and to the point that somebody will even say that I was engaged in galamsey. My answer to them is, I own all the lands, if I want to do galamsey, why would I want to go and steal it? I would go to the Minerals Commission and say I’m going to my land just give me the licence.
“So the pain I shed was people not speaking the truth; lying about it all over.”
The Okyenhene has, however, commended the president for his courage in dealing with the illegal mining menace in the country.
He said, “the point now is, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had the courage to speak to it and diminish the issues of galamsey in this country. He may have lost some votes but you know what, it’s more protection of voters than votes.”