The Chief of Dompem Pepesa, his elders, and the Good Governance Advocacy Group Ghana (GGAGG) are calling on Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately sack the Western Regional Minister, Mr. Kwabena Okyere-Darko Mensah, if only the President is serious in the fight against galamsey.
Apart from the regional minister, the chiefs also want the immediate termination of the appointment of the Municipal Chief Executive Officer of Tarkwa Nsuaem, Mr. Benjamin Kesse, the Member of Parliament in the area, and an investigation into the activities of the Regional Police Command, Tarkwa Region.
This was made known at a press conference by the Executive Director GGAGG, Mr. Listowell Nana Poku on behalf of Nana Nyowah Panyin IV, Chief of Dompem Pepesa and the entire community in the Western Region.
“We further want to use this statement to call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate the issues leading to the freeing of five Ghanaians and two Chinese suspects who were caught in the community engaging in galamsey but on the orders of the regional minister were released the following day without been prosecuted.
“We again encourage the Ghana Police Service not to feel intimidated by the actions and tendencies of an unscrupulous government appointee in the region whose aim is to make money unlawfully,” Nana and his subjects stated.
According to Mr. Listowell, the continues stay of office by Mr. Okyere-Darko as the Western regional minister makes government’s fight against galamsey a charade in the region.
He disclosed that early this year, Nana Nyowah and his elders had a hint from some of his towners that some persons are mining in a forest area at Ngogoso which is one of Nana’s communities.
Nana Opoku pointed out that, immediately, the chief sent some elders of his palace to ascertain the veracity of the report by the towners and it was corroborated to the palace so, Nana subsequently went together with the elders to witness the accounts for himself.
“On Monday, February 6, 2023, Nana Nyowah went to report the incident to the Tarkwa Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service and on Friday, February 10, 2023, the police went in and effected the arrest of the suspects who were sent to the Tarkwa Regional Police Command.
“But to our surprise, on Sunday, February 12, 2023, a group of youth came to the Palace of Nana Nyowah Panyin IV to inform him that the same people the police arrested have gone back to site working,” Nana Nyowah laments.
He said, Nana Nyowah, therefore, followed up with the Tarkwa Regional Command where he earlier went to log the complaint to know the outcome of the case but shockingly, the police informed him that due to an older from above, they were compelled to let the suspects off the hook.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it will shock you to know that upon further interrogation, the said order from above happened to have come from Mr. Okyere-Darko, the Western Regional Minister. We find this action to be very unlawful as we believe same is an intimidatory and obstructive tendency that hinders progress as far as enforcement of laws, the duty of the police is concerned.”
Nana Poku alleged that the Western Regional Minister has been using intimidatory action as an impediment in the way of the Ghana Police Service in the Region, making it difficult for them to operate as a law enforcement agency especially as far as their functional duty of protecting lives and properties is concerned.