By Joseph Nana Yaw Cobbina
The Leadership of Ada Songor Lagoon Associstion (ASLA), has called on the nation and the whole world about atrocities which are being committed against them on their own land by ageats of Daniel McKorley popularly known as McDan and the secunty agencies and to particularly carry & message to him that he has no legitimate right to abuse them on their own land.
According to them, they shall fearlessly and forcefully fight for their rights as guaranteed the nation’s constitution by all legitimate means at their disposal.
The association also appealed to government and especially the minerals commission to at a matter of urgency revoked the mining lease from electrochem because the rate of toxic pollution and attacks on the citizenry is unlawful.
Speaking at the just ended demostration the spokesperson for the association, Nene Dadebom, reiterates that they would like the media to carry out the message to the nation and the world that gross human rights abuses are being perpetrated by the menace of nuisance of landguard used by the electrochem CEO.
Once again let us not forget all thoes who were sitnilarly brutalised previoudly by S C Appenteng and his agents in the 1970s.
They observe a minute’s silence for our Sister, Daughter, Mother and Auntie. Margaret Kuworns whose life was cut short by police bullet on 17° May 1965 at Boni-kope.
The dear Numo Sebi Agbenyefia who died last year and wes buried at Goi with a police bullet stuck in him.
“Let us finally observe a minute’s silence for our late President J J Rawling whose wisdom: love of jenice, passionate belief in humen values; the rights of the common man and women and sense of fairness gave us the Master Plan”he warned.
As it stands now one of their compatriots, Bro. Sempson Agbove of Salom sill has several police bullets in him causing severe health problems for hien all the time.
There are 50 of our fellow Adaali-sbime, fellow citizens who are being persecuted and prosecuted by the authorities for just beiag on their own land and to create a monopaly on asa ealt production fer McDan alone.
According to him, suffering worse bretalities and strocities from Daniel McKorley fully backed by Nana Akuffo-Addo’s government.
“Fellow Ghanaians and Adaali-Abime hese today, we called this press conference to specifically send a strong message w the Govermment to onder McDen to immediately conse all his activities at the Songor Lagoon and rather implement the Master Pian for Salt Development in Ghana in accordance with the spirit and provisions of PNDC Law 287″he fume.
Our demands are specifically as follows:
The recommendations of the “MASTER PLAN FOR SALT DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA” be implemented ia accordance with the provisions of PNDC Law 287; The PLAN which was drawn by the Minerals Commission, inter-Ministerial Technical Teams and International Consultants an Salt Production from Cuba, BCIMACT be implemented for sustained peace aad development in the Ada Traditional.
The gross violation of the human rights of the people living around the Songor Lagoon as a result the several military and persistent police raids on the communities.
Why the Ada Chiefs who are siding with McDen maintain that, they only signed a Memorandum to cover an area of 12,A23ecres (50.30Sq Km) to McDan, however the Company’s business plan submitted to Mincrals Commission for the mining license covered an area of 63.00Sq Km but Miniag Leases covering an area of 158.34Sq Km was granted to his company, Electrochem Chane this is a classic case of land grabbing albeit an unethical, unfair, deceitful and an illegitimate one!
By a letter dated 1 August 2020 and signed by Nana Bediatmo, Secretary to the President, it is only the “Ada Songor Salt Project” which was divested to Electrochem Ghana Lid. The “Ada Songor Sak Project” site was the former Vacuum Salt’s area of operations, which is concession No.5 of the “Master Plena for Salt Development in Ghana”. Currently all the proposed 8 concessions together with all the areas reserved for the cooperatives and indigenes have beea granted to McDan’s Electrochem to create an unholy monopoly of solar sea salt production and marketing in Ada.
The activities of Electrochem’s land guerds in the commundics who are more or less private militia of Daniel Mckorley operating to intienidate the people. To establish who were behind the raid on Ada Radio which was ostensibly to silence some of the acws presenters of the mation with probably Mr. Noah Dameh being the main target.
The persecution and prosecution of over 50 residents of towns and villages around the Songor Lagoon Basin who have been variously detained for long periods in police cells and facing criminal prosecution since 2020. These poor people would have to travel every month from Ada to Tema to attend court during the last 2 years. For most of the time also the proceedings do aot come on.
The persistent persecution and prosecution of Mr. Nosh Damech; a hard working; conscientious and honest journalist of Ada Radio who took # upoa himself to educate and explain the impect of Electrochem’s Mining Leases and Business Plan to the people. Mr. Noah Dameh like all conscientious journalists in the country was just going about his duties as best as he could.
To establish whether the operations of Songor Salt Project, a State-Owned Organization with striving business and financially viable at the time of acquisition by Electrochem: was properly valued and adequate compensation was paid to the State together with the Land Owners, the Terkperbiawe Clan of Ada or not.
Declassification of sea salt farming and harvesting as a mining activity and therefore remove it from being regulated under the Mining Law.
Solar Sea Salt unkke Rock Sakt (Halite): gold; bauwute, manganese is not mined nor dug from the belly of the earth; it is farmed and harvested. ht is inexhaustible and can easily be produced where we have dry land, sea water and good sunshine.
“We call on all Human Rights Organizations home and abroad to take our cause as their own and hear our cry for jusuce in our predicament. We respectfully call on the Ghana offices of the European Human Rights Commussion, The United Nations Humas Rights Commission, The ECOWAS Commutice of Legal Affairs and together with our own Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice”he added.
He call on (CHRAJ) to step into the matter and see to what is happening down there in Songor.
Lastly and very important we call on the Intemational Finance Corporation (IFC) a division of the World Bank and all international and local benking and financial institutions to completely refrain from financing ElectroChem Ghana Lad beast they are seen to be and accused of financing and supportung aa enterpnse purposefully causing gross human rights violations to create a monopoly on sea sak production for the benefit of McDan.
The Government to take note that Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III, Paramount Chief of Ada Tradstonal Area; Officials from the Paramounicy and the Ada Traditional Council do not speak for us; the peaple of Ada Songor Lagoon Basin.
Therefore, any arrangements or agreements regarding the Songor Lagoon weth them without the direct involvement of the Libs Wornor, the enure Terkpebawe Divisional Council, The Clwefs and Elders of the towns and villages around the Songor Lagoon, together with the leadership of The Association would not be acceptable to us.
According to him, he has no doubt that supporters amongst the people of Ada who go about peddling untruths that all the poople of Ada have agreed and are in support of activities around the Songor Lagoon except for some very few throw its support for McDan.
The over 5,000 people who signed the petitions that was submitted to the President of the Republic Ghana and the Honourable Speaker of Parliament together with the thousands participating in this demonstration attest to their readiness!
The members of the Ada Songor Lagoon Association together with the Chiefa, Elders and Youth of the Songor Lagoon Basin shall fearlessly and forcefully fight on and on and on until their rights to the only livelihood are restored by the umplementation of the Master Plan for Salt Development in Ghana.
The Ada traditional council has no powers on the family lands in Songor.
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