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Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining Condemns Akufo-Addo’s Defence Of Wontumi’s Akonta Mining

President Akufo-Addo’s comment about Akonta Mining Limited appears to have ruffled feathers.

The President has stated that the firm is not engaged in illegal mining. The company is owned by the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Bernard Antwi-Bosiako.

Many have condemned the president’s comment, as the Office of the Special Prosecutor is probing the allegations against the company.

Among the critics of the President’s comment, is the Convener of the Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey.

Mr. Ashigbey told Citi FM that there is evidence that Akonta Mining committed an illegality at some point.

“Some media works had been done and some reportage in the media revealed the clashes between workers of Akonta Mining and residents of the Samreboi community where the residents prevented the miners from mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve. Also the Minerals Commission which is the independent regulatory body responsible for issuing licenses also said that Akonta Mining is engaged in illegal activities and so it is worrying the president is saying Akonta Mining is not engaged in illegal mining as we speak.”

“The president may be right when he says Akonta Mining is not engaged in illegal mining activities as we speak, it may be because maybe Akonta Mining has left the forest reserve but the question we must be asking is, was the firm not in the forest sometime last year?”

He however gave the President the benefit of the doubt, saying he will wait on him for further details.

“I will also give the president the benefit of the doubt that he, being the Commander-in-Chief, may have some evidence that we don’t know about because we also have evidence to the contrary that the firm was in the forest reserve mining illegally sometime last year.”

Mr. Ashigbey is worried the President’s comment may jeopardize the investigations by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Akonta Mining has been accused of mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Western Region illegally. The Lands Ministry had directed the Forestry Commission to ensure the company doesn’t carry out any operation in the forest.

It also asked the Commission to take the necessary action against any person found culpable. This was after it pronounced all activities being undertaken by the company in the Forest Reserve as illegal.

Government said the company only had a lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi. It however added that it did not have mineral right to undertake any operation in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve.

But President Akufo has stated firmly that the company is not engaged in illegal mining.

He spoke at the 28th National and 16th Biennial Congress of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association.

“I want to assure you all that Akonta Mining is not engaged in any form of illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak,” he stated.

Tru News Report

Frebetha Atieku Adjoh

News Editor, Lover of Arts & Entertainment
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