The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has ordered the destoolment of the Benkumhene of Asamang Tamfoe Nana Boakye Darkwa over illegal mining.
The order by the overlord of the Akyem Abuakwa followed a petition by a group of residents in the community, calling itself the Concerned Citizens of Asamang Tamfoe.
The group presented the petition to the Akyem Abuakwa Judicial Council on November 9, 2022.
Among other things, they accused the Benkumhene of engaging in illegal mining activities, causing pollution of rivers, degrading farmlands, and threatening farmers’ food security and livelihood.
“People of foreign descent have been allowed and, in conjunction with the chief of the town and sub-chiefs, are dangerously engaging in illegal mining so close to the only source of potable water- the Tamfoe river. Some of the mining sites almost end within the river bed, causing much discomfort and damage to the residents.
“It is rumoured that the chief Nana Kwame Koh II himself is part of the illegal miners, and indeed, on October 19, 2022, 5 excavators were sized under an operation mounted by over 25 soldiers. One of the excavators is alleged to belong to the chief,” parts of the petition read.
The petition was submitted weeks after some illegal miners in Asamang Tamfoe clashed with Okyeman Environmental Taskforce on an anti-galamsey operation in the community leading to the exchange of gunshots on the streets.
The Akyem Abuakwa Judicial Council then summoned the Chief of Asamang-Tamfoe Osabarima Kwame Koh II and the Benkumhene Nana Boakye Darkwa to appear before it on November 21, 2022, for a hearing which they complied.
After being asked several questions, the Benkumhene admitted guilt and lied prostrate to apologize to the Okyenhene and the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council for his conduct.
However, his show of remorse did not exonerate him entirely.
The Okyenhene, who chaired the Akyem Abuakwa Judicial Council, ordered the removal of the Benkumhene.
“I order that the Benkumhene should not remain as the Benkumhene because he has defied the orders that I instructed the taskforce to protect the Akyem lands from all illegal mining activities”.
“Are you happy about the destruction of lands and water bodies at Asamang-Tamfoe? You did something wrong, and Okyenhene called you, and you refused to come. Because of galamsey, all our water bodies are destroyed, even Kyebi here, the same as Tamfoe. I am not interested in mining. I hate it,” Okyenhene fumed.