The Chief of Abura Gyabankrom in the Abura Asebu Kwamankese district of the Central Region Nana Gyaban is facing destoolment.
The Chief has been accused of supervising the destruction of a forest reserve in the community by illegal miners. The development has resulted in the suspension of the chief by the Abura Traditional Council.
Government has renewed the fight against Galamsey with Asantehene warning chiefs to desist from giving lands to illegal miners. Speaking to Starr News Gyaasehene and Acting President of the Abura Traditional Council Nana Okwefi VIII stated a tour of the community by a delegation from the council revealed the forest reserve has been completely flattened by the chief.
“The place is really devastated. A place that used to be a forest is now as bare as a place where sand has been burrowed for some construction work. Apart from the trees that they have felled, they have also done these galamsey activities.”
He disclosed the said chief who has already been ordered to step aside will be removed after a meeting scheduled for Thursday.
“So I have asked the chief to step aside. On Thursday, I’m convening a standing committee meeting to deliberate on it. Whatever comes out of the meeting we may let you hear but it’s likely that he will be destooled because we don’t entertain such things in Abura.”
According to the Gyaasehene the chief has been fined and cautioned in the past over his involvement in Galamsey activities. The development has however done very little to deter the chief.
“This man engaged in similar activities about a year ago, we summoned him to pay some fines thinking that that will deter him but it’s like he is adamant. Now what he’s done is in its worse state.”
Nana Okwefi VIII disclosed after the emergency standing committee meeting, the embattled chief will be reported to the police for the state to take over investigations.
“The outcome of the meeting will actually give us a path to follow and it is very likely that we will have to report him to the law enforcement agencies because it is criminal.”
Batanyaa traditional area Okopon Nana Fua IX told Starr News the Abura Gyabankrom chief has explained the destruction of the forest was to allow for expansion of the community cemetery. But the acting President of the traditional council laughed off such excuse. According to him, the evidence on the ground does not support such a claim.
“I’ve not heard of such history before where a place that’s intended for a cemetery will have to be graded as if a construction project is going to happen there, it is unheard of. It is just a flimsy excuse he just wanted to give.”
When Starr News contacted the Gyabankrom Chief, he declined comments.