General News Mon, 28 Aug 2017

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We will not shield 'galamsey' chiefs - Chieftaincy Ministry

The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs says it will not shield any chief arrested in connection with illegal mining popularly called "galamsey."

According to the Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Paul Essien, government was not ready to spare anyone caught involved in the galamsey menace including chiefs.

The Deputy Minister said this on Monday as part of a four-day working visit to the Central region.

Together with the Deputy Central Regional Minister, Mr Thomas Yaw Baffour Adjei, they visited the Omanhene of the Twifo Traditional area and Council of State Member for the Central region, Obrempon Appiah Nuamah II, the Omanhen of Effutu Traditional Area and the queen of Mankessim, Nana Ama Amissah.

He said government recognizes the honorable place of the chieftiancy institution in the country and would continue to hold the institution in high esteem.

However, he stated that government would not spare anyone involved in illegal mining considering the devastating effects of the activities of the illegal miners on the environment and water bodies.

Mr Essien reiterated that the Ministry was working on supporting all gazetted chiefs with allowances adding that those who were already receiving some allowances have had the allowances increased.

The Deputy Central Regional Minister, Mr Baffour said government had showed enough political courage to fight the galamsey menace adding that it was committed to restoring all destroyed lands and keep it protected for posterity.

Oseadeayo Kwesi Kenin VI, Omanhene of the Atti Mokwa traditional area appealed for military support to help fight the menace in the area saying the illegal miners were well armed.

The chiefs appealed to the government help reclaim farmlands devastated by illegal mining activities.

In another development, the Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs announced that government plans to honour chiefs and traditional areas who are able to keep their areas free from "galamsey."

He said the Ministry has initiated a sensitization programme aimed at galvanizing chiefs across the country to support the fight against galamsey.

He said this was to motivate traditional authorities to work to keep the resources of the country safe.

"Don't be enticed by monies to destroy our lands which has been handed over to us by our forefathers," he stated.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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