The Ahafo North Youth Coalition has debunked allegations that the chiefs in the area “are serving as the spokespersons” for the Newmont Ahafo North Mine.
It, therefore, called on individuals, groups and organisations to desist from attempts to disrupt the Newmont Ahafo North project, which is important for the development of the communities.
The Coalition comprises Youth Associations in Yamfo, Terchire, Adrobaa, Susuanso and Afrisipakrom in the Tano North Municipality of the Ahafo Region.
According to the coalition, “these allegations are gross disrespect towards our revered Chiefs in the five Ahafo North mining communities and the stories do not only bring the institution of chieftaincy in the enclave into disrepute, but also depict a clear misrepresentation of what is happening in the five Ahafo North communities”.
“The Coalition will not countenance this disrespect towards our chiefs. How can chiefs who are working towards the progress of our communities be easily labeled as public relations for a company,” the coalition indicated.
A copy of the statement jointly signed by Joshua Assan, Richard Addai Yeboah, Thomas Fosu Boateng, and Emmanuel Ntim Agyemang, the Chairmen for Yamfo Youth, Afrisipa Youth, Techire Youth, Adrobaa Youth and Susuanso Youth Associations, cautioned “will not sit unconcerned while people hide behind the media to disrespect our chiefs”.
“No wonder so-called farmers that WACAM says are fighting for their interest are so disrespectful to the chiefs,”, it said and called on WACAM to render unqualified apology to the chiefs and people in the five communities.
“The coalition will also like to debunk claims that WACAM has good intentions for our community development more than development partners such as Newmont.”
“Through the push and efforts of our chiefs who have been labelled as spokesperson for Newmont, Newmont has contributed over $38million to support Ahafo communities through the Ahafo Development Foundation,” it added.
The statement explained that through Newmont, the Yamfo College of Health had benefited from an administration block and six-unit classroom block, saying the company had also provided micro-credit support for women in the area.
“We have also witnessed some of the Ahafo South Projects, which includes the Ntotroso College of Nursing, the Police Training School at Kenyasi Number One, and many more development projects,” it added.
“We are also asking WACAM to publish for all to see the investments it has brought to Ghana that has created jobs to help solve the menace of youth unemployment. This will help all to know the intention WACAM has for our communities”.
The statement indicated that “from our checks it is on record that Newmont pays the highest compensation in the mining industry which is far above government rates”.
“The compensation rates which are being paid to our people were negotiated by community representatives led by an astute professional valuer by all standards,”, it stated.
“Again, on claims of environmental management allegations against Newmont, our checks reveal that Newmont has one of the best environmental management systems in Ghana’s mining sector”, it added.