The Paramount Chief of Lower Axim Traditional Area, Awulae Attibrikusu III, has strongly criticized the government’s approach to combating illegal small-scale mining, known as “galamsey.”
The chief claimed that politicians are responsible for financing nearly 90% of Ghana’s galamsey operations, which is a significant challenge to the government’s efforts to tackle the issue.
During the 2023 Axim Kundum Grand Durbar, Omanhene Attibrikusu III stated that the government is aware of effective measures to combat illegal mining but has refused to implement them.
He noted that the government’s tendency to attribute the surge in galamsey activities to traditional chiefs is unwarranted, as they lack the authority to regulate such activities.
“When it comes to the issue of galamsey, I would say without fear or favour that the government is full of jokers.” I’d say it anyplace. Why do I say the government is a bunch of jerks when, as I sit here, I don’t have any apparatus, I don’t command the police or the soldiers?
“The chamfans used for galamsey are imported; who controls the harbour?” Isn’t it the government? So, if the government prohibits the import of chamfans, who will import them? Who am I to issue an order prohibiting the import of chamfans?
“That is why I say, and I would add, that the government is a bunch of jokes.” They have no idea what they are talking about. Chiefs cannot prohibit galamsey; only the administration can,” he continued.