There is looming tension in Akyem Abekwase in the Atiwa District of the Eastern region after the youth there tied a security guard on duty and set on fire mining equipment belonging to Adjei Danquah Investments.
On Sunday, May 14, 2017, the rampaging youth who claimed the company was engaged in illegal mining in the area, reportedly torched the equipment valued at about $1.5 million, according to officials of the company.
Government’s renewed war against illegal mining as efforts to save the country’s water bodies and the environment from being destroyed has received massive support and backing from the media, civil society organizations and many Ghanaians.
Other civil society organisations including IMANI Ghana, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) as well as other media houses have also joined the fray.
Addressing the media, the Chief Executive Officer of the mining company, Patrick Adjei-Dankwah, however, said he acquired the concession legally in 2014 and has 20 more and is in the process of acquiring other permits.
“Mining operating permit was given to my company by the Minerals Commission and the Atiwa District Assembly. But as law-abiding citzen, I stopped working to engage with the authorities,” he explained.
He said he was stunned when “on 14th of May which was Sunday, I received a call from my foreman that the people of Abekoase have besieged the company premises and burnt my excavators and other mining equipment”.
He is, therefore, pleading with the security agencies to investigate the matter and bring the offenders to book.