A Nana Pra Agyensaim, the Paramount Chief of Assin Owirenkyi Traditional Area in the Central Region, says traditional rulers have influence to stop illegal mining and assured that he would court their support to join the fight against the canker.
He said chiefs were the custodian of the land, therefore, their involvement in the campaign against galamsey would help in ridding-off the nation of the menace.
Nana Pra Agyensaim, a Member of the Advisory Board of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, said this when Mr John Peter Amewu, the Sector Minister, led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on him at his palace at Adansi Kosea in the Central Region, on Saturday.
The Paramount Chief said mining had destroyed the country’s vegetation and water bodies and there was the need for all Ghanaians to collectively fight it.
According to him, illegal mining was a criminal act and that those involved must be arrested and prosecuted, saying “we cannot compromise wrong doing in the country so even if the President is involved in galamsey, he must be punished,” he said.
The Paramount Chief assured the Lands Minister that he would court the support of the members of the National House of Chiefs to join the campaign against galamsey.
He said the “rot must stop” and encouraged politicians, chiefs and the entire citizens to support a worthy cause.
He said galamsey activities threatened the very existence of life and called for drastic measures to stop it.
Mr Amewu, the Sector Minister, reiterated Government’s commitment to deal with the canker.
He said government was not against mining but the approach adopt by some bad elements in the industry was destroying the environment and bodies, the ban was intended to sanitise the system.
He said after the expiration of the moratorium, the seven-member Ministerial committee overseeing the implementation of the directive would review the ban and advise the government on the way forward.
The Minister was accompanied by his two deputy ministers Madam Barbara Oteng-Gyasi and Benito Owusu-Bio as well as some officials from the Forestry Commission.
The Minister and his entourage started a four-day tour of some mining sites in the Ashanti Region last Friday, May 19, to ascertain whether miners in the region were complying with the directives.