By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
October 18, 2014
It has taken me quite awhile to get to this critical news event, but I can assure the dear reader that this has not been because I thought the Akyem-Tumfa criminal mining encroachment by a Mahama government-sponsored Galamsey group called STEP Mining Company was of any less moment or significance than other newsstories that I have been reading and commenting on in recent weeks. As of this writing, over 200 members of the Ghana Police Force - as well as other security personnel - had been reportedly dispatched by the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Antwi Boasiako, to squelch any protests in defense of the inalienable human rights of the people and residents of Akyem-Tumfa, while the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) unconscionably collaborates with the aforementioned mining company to make life ungovernable for the people of Akyem-Tumfa, in particular, but the people of Akyem-Abuakwa and Okyeman, in general (See "Tension [Mounts] at Akyem-Tumfa Over Gold Land" Daily Guide 10/6/14; also "Tension Mounts in Akyem-Tumfa as Irate Youth Picket" Starrfmonline.com 10/2/14).
We have also just been informed that a detachment from the Ghana Armed Forces has been dispatched by the Chief Resident of the Flagstaff House to ruthlessly deal with any Akyem-Tumfa residents and citizens who make any bold attempt to protect fully cultivated farmlands from being totally destroyed by government-sponsored Galamsey activities.
It would also be interesting to hear what President Barack Obama and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron have to say about the boorish and brutal attempts by President John Dramani Mahama to thoroughly destory Okyeman, and then smugly compose an electioneering campaign jingle to celebrate the same, by thumbing his nose at Okyeman residents and citizens come Election 2016.
Needless to say, this is a classical case of human rights violation, and we hope that the leaders of the IMF-World Bank who are in the process of bailing out the wantonly and criminally profligate Mahama government would sit up and take notice of the same. And here, also, must be poignantly observed that not quite three or four months ago, President Mahama publicly and caustically impugned the native intelligence and/or common sense of the people of Akyem-Abuakwa. And his sole reason for engaging in such cheap political point-scoring abuse was that the great and good people of Okyeman had unwisely supervised the total destruction of their most valuable asset and source of livelihood.
"It is tragic that now no one can drink from the Birim/Birem and Densu rivers anymore. Try to take a sip of water from any of these rivers, and you are likely to die almost instantly," the Gonja native had pontifically asserted. At the same time, Mr. Mahama was widely reported to have committed a humongous amount of taxpayers' money to reparatively cause the filling up of dangerous mine shafts left behind by Galamsey workers in the Central Region of the country, from whence Mr. Mahama's former boss, the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, hailed.
And here must also be recalled the fact that Mr. Mahama had gone to Kyebi, the Akyem-Abuakwa traditional royal capital, to commission a UN-sponsored potable water project. He would turn the entire ceremony into an epic fest of ridicule and abuse of Akyemfuo.
As of this writing, the Chief of Akyem-Tumfa, Barima Osei-Adom III, had reportedly fled the township. This was after the youths of the town invaded his palace and threatened to "teach him a lesson" in civic responsibility, for criminally conspiring with Mr. Antwi Boasiako, the Eastern Regional Minister, to destroy their livelihood.
So far, nearly half of the population of Akyem-Tumfa is reported to have relocated, largely to nearby towns and villages, for fear of either being brutally assaulted by security forces or losing their lives. At least one student from the township, whose identity has not been revealed by on-ground reporters, has been brutally mauled by the human pit-bulls that constitute the local police force and is, reportedly, on admission at the nearby Akyem-Abomosu Health Center.
Incidentally, Akyem-Abomosu is the maternal hometown of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghana's main opposition leader and the presumptive 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the country's largest political opposition party in parliament.