Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has stated that chiefs cannot absolve themselves of responsibility for the environmental destruction caused by illegal miners.
He chastised some chiefs for allowing illegal miners to devastate lands and bodies of water.
The Asantehene, speaking to the Asanteman Traditional Council on Friday, insisted that chiefs cannot be blamed because they benefit from illegal miners’ activities.
“We’re a part of it.” Some chiefs make money from illegal mining and keep it in their homes. Illegal miners deliver some of the cash.”
He noted that there was evidence of illegal mining activity where some chiefs were staying, and they had done nothing to combat it.
During the galamsey fight, the Asantehene also complained about the injustice of arresting poor illegal miners.
“How much money do they have?” They’re simply looking for work. “Who gets the gold?” he inquired.
Because of their authority over lands vested in them, chiefs have been identified as key stakeholders in the fight against illegal mining.
President Akufo-Addo met with the National House of Chiefs to seek their support in the fight against illegal mining as part of the recent renewed focus on the issue.
Prior to that meeting, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, blamed Chiefs, among others, for the country’s deteriorating state of illegal mining.
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