The President of the Gwira Traditional Council, Awulae Agama Tu-Agyan II has re-affirmed the ban of Okobeng Mining Company from operating in the Gwira Traditional Area.
This follows a media publication issued by one Alu Menza III, who claimed to be the Family Head of Amankrapanyin saying that the Gwira Traditional Council has withdrawn the ban placed on the said mining company.
In a statement issued by the Registrar of the Gwira Traditional Council on Sunday and copied to the Ghana in Accra, said the ban placed on Okobeng Mining Company still holds and urged the public to disregard the statement made by Alu Menza.
“I have been directed by the President of the Gwira Traditional Council and members of the Council to once again call on the general public to disregard the statement made by one Alu Menza III who claims to be the Head of Family of Amankrapanyin family.
“Nananom in the Gwira Traditional Council wish to state that Awulae Angama Tu-Agyan II is the substantive Omanhene and President of the Gwira Traditional Council, A member of the Western Regional House of Chiefs for over 23 years and a member of the National House of chiefs,” the statement said.
“The Gwira Traditional Council further reiterate that the press conference held on 2nd February 2023 by Awuale Angama Tu-Agyan II and nananom of the Gwira Traditional Council banning Okobeng Mining to stop mining in the Gwira Traditional Area still holds and has not been refuted,” it said.
It warned that anybody who deals with Okobeng Mining Company in the Gwira Traditional Area do so at his or her own risk.
On February 2, the Omanhene of the Gwira Traditional Area, Awulae Agama Tu-Agyama II asked the Minerals Commission to withdraw any licence(s) granted to Okobeng Mining Company to operate in any parts of the traditional area.
The Traditional Council alleged that the mining company, over the past six years, has been engaging in illegal small-scale mining, otherwise known as “galamsey” in the area, which had destroyed cocoa farms and polluted the Ankobra River, the main source of drinking water for the people.
It said the poisonous chemicals such as mercury and cyanide used by the mining company to extract gold had caused the people to suffer from skin diseases and other ailments.
It said the company had also refused to pay any compensation to farmers whose cocoa farms were destroyed due to the illegal mining activities while the lands degraded by the mining firm had not been reclaimed.
In view of that, the Traditional Council petitioned the Minerals Commission, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency, and Ghana Police Service as a matter of urgency to, within 14 days withdraw any licence (s) granted to Okobeng Mining Company to operate in any part of Gwira Traditional Area.