The Chief of Odaho, Nana Agyei Kumi II, has denied backing Heritage Imperial Company, a small-scale mining firm, to undertake gold prospecting in the Apramprama forest reserve in the Amansie South District of the Ashanti Region.
Some residents of Odaho last week petitioned the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, against plans to undertake prospecting operation in the forest reserve, accusing their chief of conniving with the local assembly to destroy their habitat.
But the chief, in an interview with DAILY GUIDE at the weekend, said he had no hand in the prospecting operation of the mining firm, which has been issued licences from the Minerals Commission, Forestry Commission and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“It is not within my powers to give out the Apramprama forest for gold mining; government did. In any case, this forest is traditionally owned by Bekwaihene, Repimhene and Odaho. The allegation by my people that I have connived with the local assembly to rip off the forest is not true. I don’t have any hand in it,” Nana Kumi denied.
According to the chief, he was at his palace when Heritage Imperial Company came to show him its licences that granted the company the right to mine in the forest.
He stated that when the community people raised an objection, he explained the issues to them but one Amos Tawiah and his cohorts did not understand, and subsequently attacked his palace during which they allegedly smashed window glasses and doors.
Nana Kumi said he immediately reported the incident to the Tweafohene of Otumfuo, Baffour Opoku Agyemang, who sat on the case last Thursday.
He disclosed that his accusers, who also petitioned the Asantehene, failed to appear before the Tweafohene to present their case, saying that they had been urged to allow peace to prevail in the area.
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