Illegal miners in business
Illegal miners in business

Armed openly with guns, crowbars, dangerous, knives, sticks and machetes, these illegal miners; believed to have migrated from Amansie, Obuasi and Tarkwa districts are working impudently on Perseus’s legally acquired concession in Ayanfuri ”, Awudu Mikala, a community activist based at Dunkwa said. They have forcibly taken peoples’ lands, farms and even mining under houses.

Illegal miners in business
Illegal miners in business
Perseus employees and contractors, working on the Edikan mine have not been spared as they also live in fear of the e illegal miners, whose population has gradually overwhelmed the local police and the security task force. To demonstrate the restates of the dangers they are capable of they set fire to a workers’ bus and a light vehicle and also burn a workshop.

The interesting note is that up till now, none of the culprits have been arrested, let alone arraigned before competent court of law. They are said to be freely roaming in alleyways and streets of Ayanfuri, though they are not strangers to the local police.

A police corporal, who does not want his name to be mentioned, was of the opinion that these humdrums could be stopped in no time if the regional or national security send us armed reinforcement, saying ‘these small scale miners don’t fear police, they don’t respect the police and they always say Ghana laws are no laws. The only language they understand is the use of the force by the military”.

They will run for their dear lives if the task force storms Ayanfuri, which until recently was the most peaceful and harmonious mining community in the Ghana.

The small scale miners, hiding under the guise of Ayanfuri Youth Association, have been destroying farmlands, forest, water bodies and mining indiscriminately on Perseus concession for some time. The politicians and members of the law enforcement agencies are very much aware of the horrific harm being done by the illegal miners to the people and the environment, but their parochial and selfish interest had ensured no action is taken against these illegal miners.

The inability to stop these illegal miners could affect adversely Perseus production and costs, more so at that the time the gold price is dribbling the industry downward. This in turn could also affect royalties and other exertions paid to the government and even the district administration to support development.

Accountability has been put on holidays by the people who are supposed to protect the poor people. They have blinded themselves and closed their ears to the inhumane treatment and harm being dished out on daily basis to the communities by the illegal miners and pure criminals working on the Edikan mine. “This is the belated time for the government and national security to restore security and order at my beloved own – Ayanfuri”, Opayin Christian Tutuagyare, a 68 – year old farmer who took me round Ayanfuri pleaded.

“Tell the government to come and free us from these renegade illegal miners, else the whole township and the surrounding communities will soon turn into ‘armageddon’; literally nobody will be left to enjoy the booty”. END

Source: Jack Adom in Dunkwa

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