Tontokrom Boils Over Asanko ‘Macho Men’ 3 Killed; Residents Express Anger   

The ongoing standoff between mining firm, Asanko Gold Mines and residents of Manso Tontokrom and its adjoining communities in the Amansie South district of the Ashanti region over a portion of mining concession, is getting out of hand.

The development, has led to heighten tensions in the area, with some traditional leaders boldly coming out strongly to throw their support behind their subjects, over what they claimed is an attempt to deny the residents their source of livelihoods.

Three lives, have so far been lost on Saturday, March 2, 2024, following a clash between residents and some dreaded machomen, purported to be private security men of Asanko Mines deployed to the community. Two of the said machomen were lynched, after a resident was reportedly shot dead.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Amansie South, Clement Opoku Gyamfi, who confirmed the incident on TV3’s News360 and monitored by The Anchor said, one person who sustained severe injury, has been arrested and currently in the custody of the police.

Eric Darko, the Environmental and Sustainability Manager for Asanko mines, also confirmed the development, but said Asanko doesn’t have machomen, but engaged private security who were asked to protect the concession at Tontokrom, where the incident took place.

Chiefs Speak

Prior to the unfortunate incident, the community had held a press conference on Friday, March 1, addressed by traditional leaders, assemblyman and youth leaders, to register their displeasure about happenings in the area.

A section of the residents performing some rituals to express their anger over the brutalities

The press conference which was virtually turned into a demonstration, saw scores of residents pouring on the streets to demand immediate action from government for peace to prevail.

Clad in red attire, with some in war regalia, amidst invoking of gods, the residents said, failure by the government to intervene and grant their request for Community Mining programme, there may not be peace in the area, considering the level of agitation by residents.

Nana Kwaku Gyamfi II, the Asantehene Nkonwa Soafoa manhene flanked by Nana Kofi Manu, the Soadwa Abusuapanin of Manso Tontokrom who addressed the press said, establishing the community miming in the community, will create jobs for the youths and help mitigate the issue of illegal mining.

This, he stressed would allow both the residents and large mining firms to live in harmony.

He said the community miming project which permits local participation in small mining if established, will absorb more residents whose livelihoods depend on mining since time immemorial.

Leader of the youth, Kwabena addressing the youth

“We are sitting here idling about we have no job doing. We are not doing galamsey (illegal mining) we just want a decent source of income for the youth. When you [media] came here you have seen the buildings that have sprung up? They have resolved to develop here so they said they won’t build in Kumasi. They say I live here, this is where I will have my house that is what we are looking for”.

He pleaded with President Akufo-Addo to listen to their pleas and intervene.

“Nana Addo, we are on our knees, pleading with you. Kindly hear our plea and launch the Community Mining programme for us,” Nana Kwaku Gyamfi II pleads.

The protesters, who displayed various placards with diverse inscriptions to draw the attention of authorities insist, all they wanted is regularization of their lifetime mining occupation at their current site.

Some inscriptions on the placards read; “Dr Bawumia give us community mining, why are we suffering on our own land, our life is in danger without community mining, no community mining no vote, we don’t want Asanko in Tontokrom, why sit and watch foreigners mine our lands” among others.

3-Months Ultimatum 

On his part, leader of the youth and Unit Committee Chairman of the area, Kwabena Animuoyam, said failure to approve their humble appeal within three months from March to June this year, the entire residents will advise themselves and will not take part in the December 7, general election.

According to him, the foreign companies who wants to do mining on their land, but continue to attack them would perhaps, have to take the lives of all residents in the coming days, since mining is their only source of income.

Amidst high emotions, he said, “you will have to kill us all before getting our lands for your mining activities,” adding that the youths have committed no crime, but only want jobs.

“If from March to June the Community Mining initiative is not registered, know that we will not vote, we will not vote in these towns. There are 20 towns that surround us here, this is our main source of employment. Just look at these teeming youth you see here how do you expect them to cope without jobs? So, we are telling Ghanaian leaders that we have committed no crime. All we are seeking is that they should grant us the Community Mining,” Kwabena Animuoyam stated.


Related Posts