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HomeGeneral NewsArmed galamsey bandits fighting soldiers in Ghana? – Otumfuo fumes

Armed galamsey bandits fighting soldiers in Ghana? – Otumfuo fumes

The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has expressed horror at the number of armed bandits emboldened to resist security forces deployed to combat illegal mining in forests of the Ashanti Region.

In a meeting with a delegation of journalists and managers from the Multimedia Group Limited, the Overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom revealed that he has received reports of bandits wielding weapons to confront soldiers on anti-galamsey operations

“The heartbreaking report I received from the soldiers is that they encounter all kinds of armed bandits when they storm these galamsey hotspots. It’s no joke?” Opemsuo fumed.

The Otumfuo questioned the state of security of Ghana when such armed elements continue to destroy the countries natural resources with a sense of entitlement and impunity.

“We say we have soldiers protecting us. How can all this be happening? Who is fighting for this nation,” he queried.

Unseen Hands Controlling Soldiers

The Asantehene further divulged what he described as the mighty and powerful using their influence to dictate where the anti-galamsey military task force should visit and where they dare not venture.

“Some big men can just call the soldiers and command them not to continue their advance to specific areas. I keep asking who those big men are and they will not tell me. I want to know so we continue to reveal the truth,” the clearly disturbed overlord stressed.

He dared the soldiers to be bold in pointing out these powerful individuals whose names he said they remained unwilling to disclose.

Manhyia Reclamation Efforts

The Monarch who has threatened to ‘disstool’ any chief found complicit in the galamsey menace; indicated that his office has commissioned a mission with its foreign collaborators to take Ariel shots of all affected forests, vegetative cover and river bodies.

He pointed out that the reports will help assess the level of damage and the estimated investments that will go into reclamation efforts.

I have begun working with some whites who are able to use drones to take some shots of these destroyed lands and water bodies. We have begun something in the Amansie area and will soon move to Obuase.

GJA Journalist of the Year

The visit was to officially present laurels of the GJA Journalist of the Year Erastus Asare Donkor to the Otumfuo Asantehene Osei Tutu II.

The Otumfuo was disheartened over the harrowing revelations contained in documentaries done by Mr. Erastus Asare Donkor whose works have revealed the bracing destruction of the environment and how galamsey has poisoned food and water sources.

“I couldn’t watch the full documentary of Erastus. I was so overcome with emotions and horror that I could no longer contain myself.”

Our lands are destroyed with mercury and other chemicals. Our hospitals are recording strange diseases among babies because of prolonged exposure to thee heavy metals. Meanwhile no complaint is taken seriously,” the hallowed Monarch lamented.

Involvement of Chiefs

The King pulled no punches calling out his own chiefs for their roles in facilitating and enjoying the booty of such crimes against nature.

“These chiefs are looking on while these things happen on their own lands. They know about it and they receive their share of its proceeds,” he lashed out.

The Otumfuo reiterated his resolve to exact sanctions including ‘disstoolment’ of such errant Chiefs at the launch of Ghana’s 2023 Green Ghana Tree Planting Day in May.

Ghana’s Galamsey Menace

Ghana’s Lands Commission reports that Seven out of the sixteen regions of Ghana, have been badly affected by illegal mining activities, despite several government led security operations, revised illegal mining legislations and the setting up of an adhoc Inter Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining.

34 out of 288 forest reserves have been virtually raped with the total area of destruction estimated at 4,726 hectares, land sizes bigger than entire cities like Athens and Brussels.

Strange Diseases

The devastation has left behind dangerous chemicals and open pits posing dangers both to inhabitants of these areas with its external effects seeping through the food and water coming from these areas into city centers.

Ghana’s major hospitals are recording up to four times the number of kidney cases and children born with deformities linked to exposure to these chemicals left by persons who will stop at nothing to amass wealth through illegal artisanal mining otherwise ‘galamsey’.

Exchange income Losses

Ghana’s cocoa sector which generates reliable foreign exchange income for the country has been the biggest sector hit by these illegal mining activities which have thrived in Ghana’s cocoa growing belts.

Figures from COCOBOD suggest that more than 19,000 hectares (Ha) of cocoa farms have either been destroyed or affected by ‘galamsey’ activities, leading to a loss of income to cocoa farmers and investments made by COCOBOD and the country at large.

Ghana which is the world’s second largest producer of premium cocoa is projecting expected yields for the 2022/2023 season to reduce by around 11% than a target of 750,000 tons due to smuggling and illegal gold mining or galamsey on these farmlands.

Chinese and other foreign nationals with their Ghanaian collaborators are documented to use intimidation and threats to frustrate farmland owners to sell off these farms for pittance; while the Ghana cedi suffers the brunt on the forex market.

By: Heathcote – Fumador



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