Although government’s anti-galamsey taskforce appears to be chalking some successes in the mining communities, where they have been deployed, residents of Presta Himan say the militarization of their towns is not the solution to the problem.
They claim the soldiers are harassing them and have demanded their immediate removal.
According to the people, they are yet to see the benefits of the galamsey taskforce as they accused the military personnel of “asking [residents] unnecessary” questions.
Francis Abeiku Nyankey, one of the leaders of the demonstration, told Joy FM’s regional correspondent Kweku Owusu Peprah, “we don’t know where those military men came from and wherever you pass, they ask unnecessary questions, bullying you here and there… where are you going,…what is this, where do you come from?”
Another leader, whose name was given as Shaibu, said they are protesting because the underground mine, which employs more than 3,000 people, does not have a functioning ventilator.
The protestors also said several appeals for their roads to be fixed have not yielded results.
The thousands of demonstrators clad in red, carried placards with inscriptions such as “Ghana is not Afghanistan”, “President Mahama Open the Underground Mine”, and “We need Better Roads”.
Kweku Owusu Peprah reports that the demonstration went on peacefully and orderly as insisted by the chief, who said he wanted the exercise staged, devoid of any violence.
For this reason, all drinking spots in the area were closed during the period of the demonstration.
The residents told Joy News they would repeat the demonstration every three months until their demands are met, otherwise they will vote out the ruling government in 2016.
Source: Kweku Owusu Peprah/myjoyonline
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