My Dear Chiefs in ‘Galamsey’ Business

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Dear Nananom,

You are deemed powerful and influential in many facets of our lives. You have, and continue to be the face of tradition whenever our culture is mentioned. You are the ones we resort to for wisdom when political systems appear to fail us. It is you we run to, when family matters seem unsolvable.

In fact, our heritage glitters to the world when you adorn yourselves in that colourful Kente cloth, necklaces, bracelets and other rich regalia.

Nananom, simply put, you are the unifiers of the spirit and soul our ancestors left to keep.

But Nananom, some of you in the last few decades have shown, by your decrees and actions that you are disappointing.

Some of you have disgraced yourselves and the very thrones you sit on. You have brought into disrepute the thrones your forefathers spilled bloods to pave way for your occupancy today. Some of you have brought into question, the dignity, the respect and the honor our tradition has long enjoyed.

It is regrettable to see many of you in the Western, Ashanti and Eastern regions engaging and defending ‘galamsey’ [Illegal mining] silently. Some of you own Changfans used to pollute ancestral rivers your grandparents guarded jealously.

For those of you Nananom involved in this, whichever way you look at galamsey, its negative and long term effects are damaging than the short-term happiness you pursue.

I just don’t get it! It is from you we heard for the start that “nsu a nsu, nsa a nsa”. [If it is water, let it be, if it is alcohol, let it be].

But let me respectfully ask, Nananom that, can drops of water from Pra, Ankobra, Tano or Birim; rivers of old, be used to perform these naming ceremonies these days?

It is shocking all this while that some of you have been accused by political figures that you are involved in the practice, no chief across the country has taken the bold step forward to amass support to end it. It is very shocking!

National House of Chiefs; please be concerned. Be concerned because many of your members in these three regions are fast losing the respect of the middle class and their very own local subjects.

When your subjects go wayward, see how you unleash traditional punitive measures to correct them! Why is it so hard for the National House of Chiefs to clean its house when some of its members are involved in activities that threaten the very people from whom they draw their powers?

Another thing! Is it not a shame that water pots in your chambers are now filled with sachet water? Your ancestors use to fill their pots from the riverside. The cool rivers that your ancestors used to fetch water while in their farms have been polluted.

Your ancestors knew some of the major rivers have alluvial gold in them. But did they choose their personal interest over their people? Absolutely not! They knew the over 2,000 communities dotted around major rivers depend on them for everyday well-being.

Nananom, take a tour, for example, to the Daboase Water Treatment Plant and see for yourselves whether you will drink tap water again if you return.

Go and see the turbid yellowish raw water that end in your kitchens at home and see if you will be convinced to take it. It’s very disappointing Nananom.

The Changfans and excavators you have bought just like the politicians and other businessmen, and have given them to desperate unemployed youth to head into cocoa farms and river bodies are open to Nana Nyame [God].

We have heard of those of you too who demand that ‘galamseyers’ visit your palaces and pay monies to you before you give them the go ahead.

Nananom, will you be men enough to stand tall to your predecessors should they wake up today to question your deeds? Hmm!

Finally Nananom, please stop facilitating foreigners and other people from mining in the Upper Wassa, Fure River and the Tonton Forest Reserves in the Western Region.

As we speak, the Forestry Commission and the Minerals Commission have given permission to people to prospect for gold in these reserves.

Question: When the gold is found in commercial quantities, will the forest reserve be depleted because of the gold?

Must we mine gold no matter where it is found? How many of the reserves have been added by the present generation to warrant taking down the previous?

God is watching us all, and he speaks of destroying those who destroy the earth at Revelation 11:18. Read it!

Nananom, I respect tradition and people who stand for it. Forgive your son if you find my submissions offensive. Those of you who are not involved, please get your colleagues to stop it OK? It’s not good.

For some traditional heads to be losing their respect because of these things, it will be disappointing if tradition collapses under your watch. Thank you.
Your son,

Obrempong Yaw Ampofo/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Email: walkerjazzy23@gmail.com

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