President of the National House of Chiefs Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, has denied publications in a section of the Ghanaian media that he has asked persons claiming that mining firm, Akonta Mines, belonging to the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Bernard Anwti Bosiako (Chairman Wontumi) is engaged in illegal small scale mining (Galamseny), to produce evidence to that effect.
He dared persons who say he made that comment to produce his tape if they have it to back their claims.
Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II is reported to have asked persons with evidence to back the claims that Chairman Wontumi is involved in galamsey.
“I have heard that Wontumi is doing galamsey. Whether it is true or not, I don’t know and I don’t have any evidence, so how do I tell the president about Wontumi in such a forum or expect me to speak about an issue on national television when I don’t have any facts or direct evidence on Wontumi’s activities?
“So, if you have the evidence or anyone has evidence that Wontumi is into galamsey, make it available to the president and he will act on it,” he is reported to have toldsaid after a meeting President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had with Chiefs in Kumasi last week Wednesday October 5 on the issue of galamsey.
But speaking in interview with TV3’s Ato Kwamena Haizel on Tuesday October 11, he said he never made that comment.
He said “After my statement, the press went out…on His Excellency’ statement with [the Chiefs]. The [President[ said ‘Every village has a chief, and then he, as a lawyer will want to have hard facts to add on. I even suggested that your Excellency, sometimes some of these rumours should be investigated, that was indoors. At no point did anybody including me mentioned Antwi Boasiako or Wontum’s name at the meeting. So, if anybody has any evidence , my voice anywhere that person come out with it .
“I remember one of the members raised the issue of Akonta Mines in Samroboe Forest and I intervened to say that yes, I was aware the paramount chief in the area had wanted to send a team there but he had a call somewhere and so had to stop them. Even at that point, I didn’t know the owners of Akonta Mining but what I said is that, people go under the guise of prospecting license to do mining, and so we were pleading with his excellency just as he is also pleading to [Chiefs], we will also plead with him to also involve his MMDCEs and politicians so that all of us will fight the menace of galamsey.
“Because we are the custodians of the lands and all these forest reserves were given to Forestry Commission to manage for us. Again, I made the point the regulatory framework of mining, [the Chiefs] are not part of it and so we were demanding that at least the small scale mining licenses regime should be handled at the MDAs offices instead of we getting from Accra. This is what went on other chiefs also gave their dimensions.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana