5 February 2014

Ghana: Strike Them Down!

The Kyebihene and Abontendomhene of the Akyem Abuakwa State, Osabarimah Kyeretwie Boakye Dankwah has invoked the gods of the area to strike down any galamsey operator who will go to the bush to carry on with illegal mining activity. To demonstrate his commitment towards the invocation, the Abontendomhene slaughtered four sheep - one in front of the Okyeman Palace and the other three at deferent locations in the traditional area. Speaking to reporters after slaughtering the animals, Osabarimah Kyeretwie Boakye Dankwah

said it saddens him that the overlord of the traditional area, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin had come under various forms of attacks in recent times because of illegal mining activities.

He explained that though the traditional leaders and government would be happy if the youth have work to do, it would be a suicidal if they were allowed to degrade the environment through their galamsey operations. The Kyebihene regretted that attempts by Okyehene to stop the continued degradation of the environment through the illegal mining activities had rather resulted in persistent attacks on his personality.

He noted that the slaughtering of the sheep was first to pacify the gods of the land and to also ask for forgiveness on behalf of those who vilified the Okyehene for making attempts to stop their illegal activities.

The chief first poured libation and later slaughtered a white sheep in front of the Okyehene's palace to ask permission from the gods to embark on the ritual and to cleanse the people and area of curses and troubles.

The Abontendomhene later proceeded to Akwadum where three white sheep were slaughtered, first at the palace of the Akwaduhene and later at the estuary of River Kersen.

He expressed surprise over the fact that, Osagyefo who is committed in eradicating the menace and even gave huge sums of money for reclamation exercise could be dragged into public opprobrium by these illegal miners. The Abomtodomhene noted that if Osagyefo was interested in mining, he could easily have done it by following laid down procedure but he has not done that because believes in the protection of the environment.

Even though he did not deny the fact that some of the people from the palace were into galamsey, because of the harsh economic situation, he was quick to dispel the speculation that the overlord of the land was a culprit.

The Kyebihene reiterated that traditional leaders were not pleased with the negative stories emanating from the area and called on Ghanaians, particularly those who want to go into small scale mining, to allow the regulations and laws governing the sector to prevail.

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