Chiefs from the Western Region at their general meeting in Sekondi have renewed their demand for the 10 per cent share of the oil revenue from the government for development in their respective areas.
They reiterated that the natural product had been discovered in their Region, therefore, it was expedient that they, as the indigenes, benefited from it directly for development.
The chiefs and queen mothers said they were unhappy about the criticisms that met their initial demand for the percentage of the oil revenue and asked the critics if they would not express similar sentiments if the oil was found in their areas.
They noted that their areas, especially the communities along the Jubilee Fields, would be the first to bear the brunt of any disaster that would happen.
The traditional rulers noted that the region abounded in rich natural resources like gold, bauxite, manganese, cocoa and other non-traditional products, yet the development of the Region was woefully inadequate.
They noted that the discoveries of the mineral resource in their areas had left them with only degradation of the environment and pollution of the river bodies thus impacting negatively on the people.
“If we have not benefited largely from the gold, this time around let’s benefit from the oil through the 10 per cent, which we are not demanding for our personal gains but for development,” a chief said, while his colleagues repeated it in their various contributions.
They called on President John Dramani Mahama to fulfill the promise made to them and ensure that they were allocated the requested revenue.
Addressing the chiefs, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, the Western Regional Minister, impressed on them to use their positions to cease illegal mining in their areas that was devastating the environment.
He said the chiefs in whose areas the illegal mining were taking place were the only people who could support their respective local assemblies to find solutions to this menace, which was impacting negatively on the people and the society at large.
He said posterity would not forgive them and the present generation should we fail to arrest the situation and asked the traditionalists to actively support the government to eliminate this social vice.
Mr Aidoo enumerated the efforts government was making to rehabilitate the deplorable roads in the cities and the hinterland.
On disputes, the Regional Minister urged the House to ensure that chieftaincy cases were dealt with expeditiously to ensure absolute peace in their areas, since peace was a recipe for fast development.