Eastern

‘We are not illegal miners’

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The chairman of the Community Mining Committee in Asaman Tamfoe in the Atiwa East district of the Eastern Region, Nana Boakye Darkwa making a point during the press conference

Some angry youth who graced the press conference

The Chairman of the Community Mining Committee at Asaman Tamfoe in the Atiwa East district of the Eastern Region, Nana Boakye Darkwa has indicated that they are not illegal miners, as is being speculated.

According to the Community Mining Committee chairman, who is also the Benkumhene of Asaman Tamfoe, it is unfortunate that their legitimate mining activities could be described as illegal.

It would be recalled that pandemonium broke out on Thursday September 30, 2022, between an anti-galamsey operation and some community members at Asamang Tamfoe.

Osabarima Okogyeaman Apagya Ofori IV, head of the Okyeman Environmental task force, in a joint operation with the Kibi Divisional Police Command allegedly invaded illegal mining sites at the Asamang Tamfoe community, but were resisted, leading to a violent clash.

The violent resistance led to the firing of warning shots, as the rampaging youth hurled stones at the security personnel.

Front view of the office of the Asamng Tamfoe Community Mining Scheme

It was alleged that the Chief was struck in the head by a flying stone and was rushed to Kibi Government Hospital where he was treated and discharged.

The joint team, led by the Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Magnus Reindorf Sam, retrieved a pump action gun, 2 excavators, 2 motorcycles, 1 tricycle and 2 pumping machines.

Some of the illegal miners blocked the road to prevent the team from moving out of the community with the excavator and other seized equipment.

Sixteen persons were arrested by Police in connection with the shooting incident at Asamang Tamfoe.

Speaking at the Press Conference at Asaman Atamfoe  on Monday last week, to set the record straight on the matter, Nana Boakye boldly indicated that they are not illegal miners.

He explained that President Akufo-Addo, through the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Mireku Duker on Saturday July 9, 2022 inaugurated the Asamang Tamfoe Community Mining.

He indicated that the Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Magnus Reindorf Sam, who was part of the joint task force was at the community mining inauguration ceremony.

He alleged that a group called Eastern Miners came to Asaman Tamfoe for mining and “we requested their mining license before granting them access to our lands, but instead of producing their mining documents, the former took them (elders of the area) to Linda Dor for negotiation.

The Benkumhene of Asaman Tamfoe, Nana Boakye averred that the leadership of Eastern miners proposed putting them (leadership of the town) on salary if they agree to allow them to mine in the area and they declined the offer.

The Chairman of the Asaman Tamfoe Community Mining said that the taskforce set up by the Okyenhene claimed President Akufo-Addo is their family member and, therefore, can shoot, injure and destroy properties in Asaman Tamfo.

He has, therefore, called on Dr. Akufo Dampare to deal with the suspects who were involved in the violent clash on Thursday and bring them to book, so as to help resolve the misunderstanding.

ISAAC AKWETEY-OKUNOR

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