Ex-NPP Chair bemoans dwindling fortunes of party in mining areas
A former Chairman of New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Amansie Central Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Mr Adu Boahen, has bemoaned the dwindling fortunes of the party in the mining enclaves in the region, especially Amansie Central.
According to him, he was amazed by the valid votes obtained by former President John Dramani Mahama in the mining enclaves, despite the good works done by President Akufo-Addo
“We went to power with 169 seats in Parliament, and this has reduced to 137 seats. In all sincerity, per the track record of President Akufo-Addo, I never thought the flagbearer of the opposition NDC, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, would poll 6,130,698 votes, representing 47.86% of total votes cast. Had it not been the Free Senior High School (SHS) introduced by Nana Addo, NPP would not have won the elections,” he said in an interview he granted The Chronicle via phone.
“This is not how NPP used to be. I am in possession of our constituency’s (Amansie Central) polling stations results of the 2020 General Elections, and it is pathetic that NPP is losing ground, but that is how it will be when there is a population explosion.”
Recalling the voting pattern of Amansie Central during his tenure in office as Constituency Chairman, Adu Buahen noted that the NDC’s largest voting turnout was 3,000, however, during the December 7, 2020 polls, the NDC had 10,000 votes, a development, he noted, should worry every well-meaning member of the NPP.
To Adu Buahen, the government had embarked on huge developmental projects in some mining communities in Ghana, and yet they lost, all because of galamsey, which was somehow fuelled by propaganda of the opposition NDC, which threw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians.
He noted : “I am so sad about this development; this is an area earmarked for small scale mining occupation, and the way and manner the police officers are treating the local folks about the trade, compelled the local folks to vent their spleen on the government of the day, which is the NPP government.”
“I admit that when you come to Amansie Central or Odotobri, our development has been sluggish, especially our road networks. Our roads are a nightmare. Sometimes it is difficult to convince someone to vote for our party when you find yourself on some of these roads, however, we are grateful to the government, having awarded most of our roads on contract, but when these contractors will go to site and get the roads constructed is another challenge,” he bemoaned.
The former Amansie Central Chairman of the ruling party also attributed the growing change in the voting pattern in Amansie Central to a development whereby some people who belong to the NPP come to the district and bully people in the name of party bigwigs and take over their lands.
“Some people are making things difficult for farmers over here (Amansie Central), and a prime example is an old lady who ran to the Jacobu Police Command to lodge a complaint about incursions on her palm plantation by a miner. But she was ironically arrested, and by the time she was granted bail, her plantation had been destroyed by the miner(s),” Adu Boahen told The Chronicle.
According to him, all these developments happened under the auspices of the so-called NPP bigwigs in Accra or Kumasi, who used foul means to take away the land of poor farmers in Amansie Central for mining activities.
He warned that these developments, if left unattended, could cost the NPP dearly in future.
He disclosed that information available to him suggests the security agencies at Odotobri have been arresting people who are seen with implements such as shovels and pickaxes in the name of galamsey, without any evidence, only to take money from such poor persons.
Backing his claims, the NPP former Chairman revealed that with less than 24-hours to the December 7 polls, he picked up intelligence that some people masquerading as National Security personnel went on rampage in the area arresting and collecting GH¢3,000 from each mining group for engaging in illegal mining. “I am speaking with authority that the security agencies are not fairly treating the people that could vote for the party, so they are peeved.”
Adu Buahen claimed they had made uncountable complaints to the Amansie Central District Assembly, but they have refused to take action.
He has, therefore, pleaded with the government to handle issues regarding galamsey tactfully, emphasising that small scale mining in Ghana contributes 20% of domestic revenue. To him, small scale mining is now a business in Ghana, and called for measures that will ensure the protection of the environment.
“Government should try as much as possible to reframe the small scale mining policy, and Ghanaians must equally understand that small scale mining has been reserved solely for them, and that the revenue accruing from the sector will be used for development.”
The District Chief Executive for Amansie Central, Asamoah Boateng, however, disagreed that the masses were peeved with the NPP.
According to him, the party had undertaken a lot of development projects, including building of schools, drilling boreholes and others, all aimed at improving the living conditions of the people.