Project Coordinator for the Oda Community Mining Program, Kontoh Owusu Agyeman has denied the allegation of doing illegal mining.
He stated that the District Security Council, BNI, Regional Security Council, Regional Police Command, Minerals Commission, and all other governing authorities were aware of their preliminary actions.
“That was why the police or military wasn’t involved in arresting the three Yemenis who weren’t in the act of doing galamsey”.
Thus, it is untrue for anyone to assert that they were involved in illegal mining.
“In the Community Mining Operation, we have followed proper procedures and done all necessary action. A tributary arrangement was first obtained from GCD. Minerals Commission signed SIGA was involved. We then met with the Eastern Regional Minister to discuss our intentions to start community mining. He requested that we respect the law and construct an office with amenities like a canteen and bathrooms. Because of that, we were on the job site installing the SD-400 washing machine.
According to Kontoh Owusu Agyekum, “On the fateful Monday, we heard that some armed guys had broken into our location and destroyed the equipment. Each of these pricey gadgets costs $600,000 to purchase. With the idea of using the equipment and paying the overseas supplier back, we bought the machines on credit.
The company was to construct, run, and educate local personnel to operate it for three months before they turned it over and we paid them in full. To prevent water pollution, we have built three dams on the property since we follow the law”.
During the conversation, he made it clear that he takes great care to ensure that no holes or pits are left on the property he is working on that may potentially cause accidents.
“In 2015, I traveled after leaving a land I was working on. When I came back, I witnessed some Chinese being awarded my land. I, therefore, moved to the High Court to obtain paperwork proving that I had no involvement in the mining that was taking place on the property. And I shouldn’t be held accountable if something goes wrong.
He clarified that the work they are doing will not only benefit them but also the entire nation and contribute to the creation of jobs for the nation’s youth. As opposed to a foreigner who will return to their homeland with their earnings but not the land or country they worked on.
On Saturday, May 6, 2023, the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Martin Ayisi, announced on Newsfile on Joy FM that three Yemenis had been detained by the small-scale task force and the Minerals Commission office in Oda, and that two excavators had been seized and are now parked at the police station. When the Yemenis were being detained, the local chief went to the task force’s office and claimed possession of the mining site.