Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has taken decisive action by removing one of his sub-chiefs, Nana Saforo Koto of Bekwai-Abodom, from his position due to allegations of illegal mining. It is reported that the destooled chief failed to convince the influential Asante leader that he was not involved in 20 cases relating to illegal mining, locally referred to as ‘galamsey’. This comes shortly after Otumfuo destooled the chief of Antoa, Nana Kwame Owusu Agyeman, for unauthorized land sales and violating customary traditions during his enthronement. Nana Kwame Owusu Agyeman had held the position for 23 years until his removal on May 29, 2023.
The recent case involving Nana Saforo Koto arose when residents of Bekwai-Abodom accused him of indiscriminately selling parcels of land to small-scale miners. Small-scale mining has been criticized for its detrimental impact on water bodies and vegetation in mineral-rich communities within the Ashanti Region. Additionally, Nana Saforo Koto was accused of neglecting his town for a prolonged period of seven years, resulting in the abandonment of important traditional and ritual practices within the stool house.
The sub-chiefs under Nana Saforo Koto’s jurisdiction supported the residents’ petition, leading to his removal by the Asantehene. During the proceedings at the Asanteman Traditional Council, it was revealed that Nana Saforo Koto failed to respond to the charges brought against him, further strengthening the case against him. Consequently, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II found him guilty of all charges and dismissed him from his position.
It has been revealed that the destoolment of chiefs involved in illegal mining activities will be a part of the activities marking the Asantehene’s 25th Anniversary. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has consistently expressed his strong opposition to illegal mining in Ghana on various platforms.