Galamsey: Wontumi, Sir John excavators working despite ban

Despite government’s ban on small scale mining, it has emerged that two senior officials of the ruling party are briskly prospecting for gold in the Amansie Central District of the Ashanti Region.

Chiefs in the community accused the NPP’s Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako aka Chairman Wontumi and the party’s former General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John of defying the directive.

In a meeting with Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Kofi Dzamesi, the Chief of Jacobu, minced no words by accusing the NPP bigwigs have been carrying out illegal mining activities in the area.

Report suggests the minister, who attended the meeting with some officials from the Land and Natural Resources Ministry, were shell-shocked by the revelation, and requested that the chiefs provide further and better particulars after the meeting.

The chiefs alleged that, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie has given out a concession of the Aprampram Forest Reserve to Chinese for mining in the pretense of reclamation.

“Sir John and the Ashanti Regional Chairman sent about 30 excavators into the forest with the protection of military men.

“As the chief of my community, I didn’t know anything about that. All we hear was that they were coming to reclaim the land. But not too long just about two weeks, they began illegal mining activities” spokesperson of the chiefs alleged.

Following the widespread devastation of water resources and forest reserves as a result of the activities of illegal mining popularly known as “galamsey”, government, in January 2017 placed a ban on small scale mining for a period of six months.

The ban was however extended in October 2017, for another three months, which ended in January 2018.

But the Lands and Natual Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu explained that his outfit had to extend the ban again after small scale miners failed to meet the target set for them to have it reviewed.

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