Kweku Baako says government must punish Akonta Mining Ltd for invading the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve without a mining right.
A recent incident happened in the Western Region showing some muscular men preventing a team from the Forestry Commission from stopping workers of the company from mining in the reserve.
Following the clash, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has revealed the company has directed the company to halt its operations in the forest reserve.
Although the company claims it has a mining lease to operate in the forest, a statement by the Minerals Commission contradicts it.
Poritons of the statement reads; "As indicated in the Ministry’s Press Statement, dated 30th September 2022, Akonta Mining Ltd has a pending application dated 25th August 2022, for a Mining Lease over an area within the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve. That application has not been determined by the Minister, who is mandated by law, to grant or refuse such applications.
"And for the avoidance of any doubt, Akonta Mining Limited has NO mining lease, mineral right, and/or permit to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve, and steps are currently being undertaken to enforce the Minister’s Directive issued on 30th September 2022."
Tackling this issue while discussing on Peace FM's morning show "Kokrokoo", Kweku Baako called for thorough investigations into the company and its intrusion into the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.
"The company should be investigated in terms of their invasion, intrusion of the forest reserve without licence and duly punished by law," he said.
The senior journalist held that the Akonta Mining/ Samartex incident is a test case for the current administration.
"....this is tough call, a really tough call that again how this matter is handled would either enhance the integrity of the fight or diminish it".
"The issue is not that they have applied for a licence to go into a forest reserve. The issue is that you don't have a licence yet but the company is there. Why? What kind of impunity is that?", he exclaimed.
Akonta Mining Ltd is a mining company owned by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Bosiako a.k.a Chairman Wontumi.
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