“Meeting of galamsey shareholders” – Odike on Akufo Addo’s engagement with House of Chiefs
Founder of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Akwasi Addai Odike has described the engagement between President Akufo-Addo and the National House of Chiefs as an assembly of “galamsey shareholders.”
Odike says the chiefs have accused the government as superintending over illegal mining whilst the government has also accused the chiefs as complicit for leasing out their lands and looking on for the act to go on.
In a recent speech delivered at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor noted there is no way galamsey can go on in any community without the knowledge of the chiefs.
“I come from a Palace and I can say without a shred of equivocation that in most cases, no one bring an excavator to mine in a forest or chamfine to work on a river body in a community without the knowledge or passive approval of the chief, elders, opinion leaders, assemblymen and local authorities in the community. We have to begin to be blunt about this situation on our hands. It is the honest truth,” Abu Jinapor said.
But the Asantehene disputed his claims saying the concessions for galamsey are given by government in Accra without the consent of the chiefs.
“The concession is given by the authorities in Accra, the chiefs don’t give concessions so there is little they can do about it. The chiefs will be there and people will bring documents saying they’ve been given the permission to mine. Who consulted the chief for him to even supervise the activity?
“The constitution says the minerals is being held in trust for the people by the President. So chiefs cannot do much about it,” the Asantehene said.
Following the development, Odike has said the blame games between the chiefs and the government make them both accomplices.
He said those engaged in the act are friends to the president, the reason he cannot touch them.
“Akufo-Addo’s meeting was a galamsey shareholders meeting because the chiefs are blaming government and government says it is the chiefs. Everything clearly shows he (Akufo-Addo) is a direct beneficiary of the galamsey proceeds. There is not a single message from you that shows you’re committed to fighting the menace,” he told Captain Smart on Maakye Thursday, October 6, 2022.