The President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, has dared Ghanaians to make available evidence that proves that the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Chairman Wontumi, is involved in illegal mining, also known as galamsey.
In his view, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo can only act when there's sufficient evidence that his appointees are involved in illegal mining activities.
On September 30, 2022, the Minerals Commission issued a statement asking Akonta Mining, a company owned by Chairman Wontumi, to stop mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve, describing the activities of the company as illegal.
But critics have said that the chiefs in the area should have rather asked President Nana Akufo-Addo to punish Chairman Wontumi over his involvement in the galamsey activities.
Reacting to the claims, the President of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, argued that traditional authorities do not operate on rumours.
He however stated that persons with concrete evidence to back the claims should make it available for the necessary actions to be taken on them.
"I have heard that Wontumi is doing galamsey. Whether it is true or not, I don't know and I don't have any evidence, so how do I tell the president about Wontumi in such a forum or expect me to speak about an issue on national television when I don't have any facts or direct evidence on Wontumi's activities?
“So, if you have the evidence or anyone has evidence that Wontumi is into galamsey, make it available to the president and he will act on it," he told Morning Show host of Kumasi-based Oyerepa TV, Kwesi Parker-Wilson.
Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II also cautioned chiefs against engaging in illegal mining.
He insisted that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has their full support in arresting and prosecuting persons involved in the act in spite of their status in the society.
"The chiefs have been warned against the practice because we have asked the President to deal with anyone who is involved, whether a chief, a politician or whoever must be arrested to curb the menace," he added.