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01.02.2007 Business & Finance

Benso Rejects Surface Mining

By myjoyonline
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THE OMANHENE, chiefs and people of Benso, the traditional capital of the Wassa Fiase Traditional Area in the Western Region have kicked against surface mining.

While calling for deep mining, the people noted that surface mining did not only denigrate farming land and water bodies, but also brought about chemical pollution in the areas of operation.

They have consequently resolved to petition the appropriate authorities in respect of the surface mining, which they said, was rearing its ugly head in the area.

The Omanhene, his chiefs and people, made this known during a meeting of the traditional council at Benso recently.

The people also condemned the creation of an additional traditional council at Tarkwa, branding it as fake, under the chairmanship of Osagyefo Kwamina Eninil V, the Anglican Bishop-turned chief, who claimed to be Omanhene of the area.

According to the chiefs and people, this council was not only bogus, but illegal and improper as well.

They therefore warned the chiefs as well as institutions and individuals in the area, against dealing with this council and Osagyefo Eninil, saying, people who dealt with the council and its so-called Omanhene, did so at their own risk.

According to them, the only legitimate Omanhene in the traditional area was Odeneho Akrofa Krukokor II, and that Benso was the traditional capital.

At the meeting, the Wassa West District Assembly was criticised for doing little for the area, and the District Chief Executive reprimanded for failing to visit Benso his appointment as DCE seven years ago.

Furthermore, the people have decided to petition the appropriate authorities concerning the gloomy state of affairs in the area.

In a speech read by Safohene Nana Kwabena Agyabeng on behalf of Odeneho, he noted that the meeting had one vision of uniting the people and uplifting the image of Wassaman.

The speech pointed out that it had not been easy for followers of Odeneho throughout the chieftaincy litigation since 2002, from the lower court to the Supreme Court.

It also explained to the people that the Supreme Court order empowered the traditional council at Benso to hold its meeting without hindrance.

Also it made mention of another order from the Supreme Court which empowers the High Court in Kumasi to dispose of the merits of the Mandamus application that called for the re-instatement of Odeneho's name in the National Register of Chiefs.

Later in an interview with the press, Odeneho praised the chiefs and people for their patience all this while, and for rallying behind him.

He urged them to continue to be patient and press on with the unflinching support till victory is won. Odeneho pointed out that victory was in sight, considering occurrences recently.

The pacific-looking chief indicated that he was for peace, hence his plea to all to exercise restraint for the final outcome.

He noted that but for his boundless tolerance and patience, which he had been preaching all this while, the traditional area would be war-torn by now.

On April 19, 2002, a Sekondi High Court convicted and sentenced Odeneho to 14 days' imprisonment for contempt of court.

According to the court, this sentence amounted to customary destoolment.

Nonetheless, on April 23, 2002, Osagyefo was enstooled chief in his stead, and on September 25, 2002, his name inserted in the National Register of Chiefs in place of Odeneho's.

However, from October 1, 2002, Odeneho began a campaign to have his name re-instated in the register.

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