The President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, has declared his support for the burning of excavators by the military in the fight against illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.
The Paramount Chief of Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Area and President of Western Regional House of Chiefs wants the approach by the government in the fight against illegal miners to be firm and inflexible in order to deter others.
Speaking on the Yen Sempa morning show on Onua FM on Wednesday, May 5, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II declared his total support for the military to burn excavators retrieved from the miners who he said are obstinate to the directives by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister.
He maintained that the approach would discourage and frighten the illegal miners from destroying the forest reserves and water bodies in the country.
He shot down the argument that the excavators should be confiscated and sent to the district assemblies so that they could be used to recover the vast land destroyed by the miners.
The paramount chief asserted that the miners could easily disassemble the machines and make them immovable and unusable if not destroyed.
“I support the military for burning the excavators because at least it is deterring others to stop mining in the river bodies and the forest.
“The last time I was traveling from Abuakwah, I counted not less than 10 excavators packed along the road which means that the miners are adhering to the minister’s directives because if they don’t voluntarily bring the machines out of the forest, they would be destroyed by the military,” he reiterated.
Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II also refuted the claims by the general public that Nananom are the people who are secretly behind the illegal miners to operate illicitly at the local level.
He stressed that the traditional rulers are always sidelined by the Minerals Commission in the issuance of permits and prospecting lincense to the miners thus making it difficult for Nananom to monitor and prevent the miners.
He thus called on the government to involve the traditional rulers especially at the local level in the issuance of permits and prospecting incense to the miners so that Nananom and the local people could be watchdogs to monitor and regulate mining activities.
By Maxwell Otoo|Onua FM|3news.com|Ghana