Over 5,000 File Petition Against McDan’s Electrochem
More than 5,000 residents of Ada in the Greater Accra Region have filed a petition against salt mining company, Electrochem Ghana Limited (ELG), owned by businessman Daniel NiiMcKorley, popularly called McDan, for supposedly depriving them of their livelihoods.
Clad in red attires, the angry residents, including the aged, students and the physically challenged, who have travelled all the way from Ada to Accra to stage a protest, said they have been harassed and abused on their own land, since the company came to the area and began operations.
The protest, dubbed “March for Justice Demonstration,” was spearheaded by the organizers, the Ada Songhor Lagoon Association (ASLA), an association of salt miners, who have accused the company and its owner of seeking to monopolize salt production in the area.
According to the residents, the only thing that would resolve the issues and bring peace to the area is implementation of the recommendations in the blueprint for salt production in Ghana— “Master Plan for Salt Production in Ghana”— derived from PNDC Law 287.
The master plan, approved in 1991, states that, “In order to avoid what could give cause for conflict which could again seriously hamper salt production, it is necessary to establish control for the interrelationship in the lagoon usage and the pacific coexistence of the companies and the Ada people. None of the interested parties alone can assume management of so complex a matter.”
The Anchor has gathered that, at the time, only four companies were operating in the area.
The petition, which was submitted to the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo, and the Speaker of Parliament, wants government to halt the operations of the company from mining salt in the area and institute an impartial investigation into the matter to ensure fairness.
Chanting a slogan, “Our Salt, Our Future,” the protestors said Electrochem Ghana Limited was initially granted a lease for a portion of the Songhor Lagoon (Songhor Salt Project). Per this lease, the agreement was to be reassessed and renewed based on performance after 15 years.
However, some local chiefs had allegedly conspired to lease the entire lagoon to the company, including areas that contained privately-owned lands.
Deputy Chief of Staff, Emmanuel Adumuah Bossman, who received the petition on behalf of the President, commended the protestors for the peaceful demonstration and assured them of a swift investigation to bring peace and justice to the area.
“The president has sworn an oath to protect the interest of natural persons like yourselves and legal persons like companies, so we will look into it and see where the merits are and what needs to be done. The president will react accordingly,” he said.