A group of concerned citizens of Talensi, a District in the Upper East Region have said they will resist attempts by anyone or group of persons to allow the Shaanxi Mining Company continue operations in the area.
In a statement read by Bismark Azumah, Vice president of the group at a news conference on Thursday, the natives who massed up in Tongo to vent their displeasure about the “illegal” operations of the Chinese company, have vowed to protect their community from further destruction and stop the recurrent deaths of the towns people through blasting of “unannounced” explosives, “with the last drop of their blood”.
They further said in the statement that they will do everything within their might to ensure that the Shaanxi Mining company is shut down and its Chinese operators driven out of Talensi if it fails to comply with the findings of a Committee set up by the Minerals Commission.
“We are here today to let the world know the circumstances that led to the death of our sixteen brothers in the mining area will not be swept under the carpet. The youth of Talenteng will resist any attempt by greedy individuals or group of selfish people who will allow Shaanxi to continue their illegal activities on our land with the last drop of our blood,” They vowed in a statement.
The group has also pointed accusing fingers at the Minerals Commission for not doing more in its mandate to ensure that the Shaanxi Mining Company abides by recommendations brought forth by an investigative committee of commission. They said the commission’s failure to compel Shaanxi to comply with findings of a report in October 2012, has led to the deaths of some 61 miners from the community.
“If the committee had enforced the recommendations dated 5th October, 2012, we wouldn’t have had anybody dying in Talenteng. These unfortunate deaths wouldn’t have occurred. The Minerals Commission is not doing Talensi any good. We are not ready to accept any report from them because we have lost all confidence in them. And if they don’t solve this problem before the mines [belonging to Shaanxi] are reopened, we will resist,” they statement added.
They also stated that all trust the people of Talensi have for the Mineral Commission that it will do a good job in finding solutions to the protracted issue, has been lost. To this end, they (youth group) are asking that they be included in the committee undertaking the current investigation.
“On 24th April, 2018, a committee set up by the minerals commission to conduct preliminary investigations into the deaths of five works of Shaanxi found Shaanxi mining company guilty and recommended a fine of $10,000.00 making reference to their LI 2182(56)(33) which briefly is the safety conditions of the workers underground.
This same committee, led by Mr. Felix Baiden-Amissah who found it wise to recommend a fine against Shaanxi, could not find it prudent to recommend for the compensation of the victims.
We do not trust they will come out with something beneficial for the sixteen who died recently. These are the reasons we requested to be included in the committee undertaking the current investigation”. The statement said.
Meanwhile, the agitated youth group has announced that it will hit the streets of Talensi with a massive demonstration soon to drum home their demands. The peaceful protest, the group says, will come on soon after Ghana’s 62nd Independence Day celebration.
By: Senyalah Castro