The Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Samuel Atta-Akyea, has been asked to immediately excuse himself from the committee.
The demand for Atta-Akyea to excuse himself as Chairman of the committee investigating the November 6, 2023, shooting incident at Toflokpo, Ada West District, Greater Accra Region which claimed the life of one person and injured several others, was made by the Ada Songor Lagoon Association (ASLA).
According to Association, Mr Atta-Akyea’s comments that the locals and groups in Ada fighting for their rights in the Ada Songor Lagoon were ‘saboteurs’ who were hell-bent on undermining salt mining firm, ElectroChem, were not only prejudicial but also despicable.
A statement by ASLA indicated that groups including Dangbe East Salt Producers Association (DESPA), Libi Wornor, Terkperbiawe Clan Stool Father, Numo Tetteh Ableedu, Asafoatse-ngua,Glorgo Dadebom Anim V of Terkperbiawe Clan, Terkperbiawe Queen mother, Naana Korlekie Korley I, chiefs, elders, and youth of all the communities around the Songor Lagoon Basin totally disagree with the comments by Mr Atta-Akyea, and went on to accuse the committee of being in league with ElectroChem.
The statement described the committee as one laden with self-seeking law-makers who did not care about the locals around the Songor basin, cautioning that the comment by Chairman Atta-Akyea was a recipe for instability in Ada.
Clearly, the ASLA indicated that the committee has openly displayed its bias and abject disregard for the numerous human rights abuses alleged to be perpetuated by McDan’s ElectroChem Task Force, the military, Interior Ministry, and the Police Service.
Even though, these human rights abuses have been reported to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the ASLA lamented that neither a letter of receipt nor measures have been put in place to mitigate them
“It is so sad that the Att-Akyea-led Committee flagrantly and deliberately ignored PNDC Law 287 which specifically states that “The Songor Lagoon and the lands are being held in trust for the owners.”
“It must be on record that the government at no time acquired the Songor Lagoon and its adjoining lands compulsorily, but rather holding it in trust for the rightful owners; the Terkperbiawe Clan,” clarified.
What is more, the Association emphasised that since the legitimate owners of the land were also involved in sea salt farming, it would be sensible for the regime to factor in the indigenous people.
The statement pointed out that the parliamentary select committee deliberately shelved the most important law which preamble prescribes a master plan for Salt Development in Ghana, but rather engaged the following laws in isolation: the 1992 Constitution; the Standing Orders of Parliament; the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703); the Environmental Protection Act,1994 (Act 490); Water Resources Commission Act,1996 (Act 522); Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978); Minerals and Mining (Health, Safety and Technical) Regulations, 2012 (L.I.2182); Minerals and Mining General Regulations (2012), L.I.2173; Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (L.I. 1652),and; the Supreme Court Ruling on the Republic versus High Court, Accra: Ex Parte Attorney General (Exton Cubic Group Ltd., Interested Party (2019) unreported Civil Motion Number JS/40/2018″.
Source: Prosper Kwaku Selassy Agbitor