Scores of illegal miners at Akyem Hemang and its environs are reportedly excited over the destoolment of the Chief of Akyem Hemang Osabarima Prof. Mirikissi Apori Atta.
The Chief has over the years taken entrenched position against illegal mining in the area. The Chief has been causing arrest of recalcitrant miners ostensibly to protect the environment and the Birim River .
For instance in January 2019, the Inter Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) taskforce invaded mining site of Nawara mining Company at Akyem Nsuapemso in the Fanteakwa South District of the Eastern Region and set ablaze four excavators and pumping machines, and arrested some workers following continues complaint from the the Chief of Akyem Hemang that the Company has been mining in the Birim River.
In an interview with Starr News, Osabarima Prof.Mirikissi Apori Atta told Starr News “if you have a mining permit given by the Minerals Commission,you cannot mine the Birim River unless you have permit from Water resources. No buffer zone should be mined on the other side of the river and Worse still you cannot go on to destroy my sacred groove without my knowledge and consent as I am a foolish man, no! and they do it with impunity.
“There are lots of reports written to Water Resources, the Ministry and they still continue so we cannot allow ourselves to be treated underdogs. People have to sit up in this country or the worse will happen.We cannot allow any foolish guy to come from his country and decide to destroy our sacred groove”.
Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin on Monday 1st July 2019 at the Ofori Panin Fie, Kyebi announced the destoolment of the Chief of Hemang Osabarima Professor Mirikissi Apori Atta on grounds of uncustomary conduct and harassment of the people of Dome and Gyampomani and his unlawful claim of ownership of lands in the two villages.
The Akyem Abuakwa State Secretary D.M Ofori Atta explained further in a statement issued that the destooled chief blatantly disregarded for custom, disrespected summons to appear before the Akyem Abuakwa State Council questioning the jurisdiction of the Kyebi Executive Council to determine matters concerning Hemang lands.
It appears the destoolment the Chief has sparked conflicting reaction by residents in the Akyem Hemang Traditional area while illegal miners oppressed over the years are happy other subjects have disregarded the decision by Okyenhene still upholding the legitimacy of Osabarima Professor Mirikissi Apori Atta also the Council Chairman of Koforidua Technical University as their Chief.
According to them the Chief was destooled purely because of his stance against mining in the community.