Residents of Denkyira Adaboe in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region are unhappy with alleged military attacks in the area.
They accuse the military of abuse and appeal to the government to reconsider how security agencies are handling the fight against illegal mining in the area.
Residents say they support government’s directive but are disappointed with the abuse of powers by the military.
“They (soldiers) told my child to open the door and he said, my mother is not around and they (soldiers) barged into my kitchen. They took all 15 gallons of diesel that I sell to corn millers in this Adaboe community and went with them. I don’t use them for the galamsey; I sell them to the corn millers. I’m collecting my money from the soldiers,” one of the residents, Maame Mercy Gyampo lamented the alleged ordeal she went through.
Another resident, Ama Cudjoe, has accused the military of seizing her three pumping machines meant for the cultivation of pepper and garden eggs. Ama claimed the military also took her three new shovels away.
“I followed them and took one of the pumping machines. If I had known that all the three items were with them, I would have gone for them. If they would have killed me or left me alone, that’s for them to decide. So I plead with them, I need my things. I’m not part of galamsey.”
The residents accuse the military of taking the law into their own hands to beat, and burn an excavator parked at the chief’s residence.
Chief of Denkyira Adaboe, Nana Kyei Baffour
According to the residents, they adhered to the government’s directive by moving the excavators to their residence but the soldiers didn’t spare those either.
One of the victims whose excavators were burnt, Togbui Korbadzi III, said he was disappointed the military had to burn one of the earth-moving equipments at a chief’s residence.
“We were using the machine at the site of Tabosere. When the directive came that everybody should move their machines out of the site, we had to park all the machines in Dunkwa. But this particular machine developed a fault so we left it to Nana’s care because we would come for it. I was called and told that the soldiers have set it ablaze.”
Chief of Denkyira Adaboe, Nana Kyei Baffour is also appealing to the President to review the modus operandi of the military.
Nana Baffour says he was at a funeral ceremony when a call came through reporting that soldiers had barged into his compound to burn down the excavator.
“So I sought permission to leave the funeral ceremony. When I got home, there was a fire on the machine, how come? If they want to do something, should it be the chief’s palace?”
Nana Baffour also claims the military had wanted to beat his wife because she refused to open his doors.
“They barged into some people’s stores, took machines, and burnt them. If you don’t talk, they beat you and if you talk, they beat you. Did President Nana Akufo Addo tell you to do this in this way in my community? What is the size of the community for these soldiers to come and beat us? How come? I am pleading with President Nana Akufo Addo to do something about it.”
He says they are farmers and therefore use their pumping machines for farming activities.
“We use the machine to water vegetable farms. You have burnt all of them and took some away.”