The secretary for the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council has accused the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the National Security of being on a mission to denigrate the image of the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II.
A 31-page report of the BNI cited some chiefs and political figures in the country as being involved in illegal mining.
The report detailed districts in eight out of the 10 Regions of Ghana where galamsey is taking place.
The BNI report which was intercepted by the media said checks revealed the growing prevalence of illegal mining with its accompanying destruction of water bodies has been a source of worry for the citizens.
The report continued that there is a perception among residents of Kyebi that Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II is behind illegal mining activities in the area.
“It is further alleged that, the Okyenhene has constituted a taskforce, as part of its environmental foundation, who allegedly extort monies from illegal miners in the area,” a portion of the report said.
Commenting on the report on Joy News’ current affairs programme, Newsfile Saturday, Tamale Central Member of Parliament, Inusah Fuseini confirmed that the Okyenhene was indeed involved in galamsey.
The report, the secretary for the Okyenhene speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’ Monday said was not accurate as it was based on perception and not any concrete evidence.
“It’s unfortunate that the BNI mentioned Okyenhene’s name…BNI is only out there to denigrate Okyeman and Okyenhene stool, it’s only a subtle attempt at denigrating the stool…,” he said.
The shock, he said is further heightened by the fact that the Eastern Region police has written to the Okyenhene demanding to know whether it is indeed true that Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II had a taskforce on galamsey.
Replying to the report, DM Ofori-Atta said he categorically wrote back to the Divisional Police stating that Okyenhene had disbanded the taskforce after several complains.
“The divisional police command wrote a letter to ask about the taskforce…on 5th April, 2016, I replied that there’s no creature referred to as Okyenhene taskforce because it has been disbanded due to public complaints of extortion, public harassment and others,” he stated.
He further expressed shock that ‘in spite of this response to the police, the BNI would still implicate Okyenhene based on speculations.’
To DM Ofori-Atta, the BNI and persons who hate Okyenhene are just working to destroy Akyem Abuakwa’s image and that of Okyenhene.
“Akyem Abuakwa constitutes two-thirds of Eastern Region and galamsey go on in other regions, why is Okyenhene only the one accused…,? he queried.
To him, he does not understand why people would implicate Okyenhene over galamsey in Eastern Region when same persons are not naming the Asantehene as being behind galamsey in Ashanti Region.
“There’s galamsey ongoing in Ashanti Region, but no one is associating Asantehene with it, so why is Okyenhene being associated with galamsey in Eastern Region when Akyem Abuakwa is only two-thirds of Eastern Region…?,” he asked further.