Members of the Sefwi Asawinso Chainsaw Operators Association (SACSOA) in the Sefwi Wiawso Municipality of the Western Region have called for thorough investigations into circumstances that led to the killing of one of their members.
Wisdom Amaleke, a 40-year-old chainsaw operator, was allegedly killed by a Forestry Task Force in the Krokosu Forest at Sefwi Asawinso at about 11 pm last Sunday.
The deceased, a native of Sefwi Amoalia in the Sefwi Juaboso district, was allegedly shot at the back by the members of the Task Force who were on their routine patrol in the forest on that fateful day.
According to sources, the victim bred profusely and was later sent to a herbalist in the area to remove the bullets from his body, but died in the course of the treatment.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that the deceased and four other colleagues, who were in the forest, were allegedly fleeing upon seeing members of the Task Force when he was shot.
Addressing journalists at Sefwi Asawinso, Yaw Mensah, spokesperson for the chainsaw operators, alleged that Amaleke would have survived if members of the Task Force had taken him to the nearest hospital when they realized that he was bleeding as a result of the gunshot.
He explained that the four other colleagues of the deceased initially could not take the victim to the hospital because the continuous presence of the Task Force deterred them from going to his aid.
Mr. Mensah indicated that there was no justification for the alleged action because according to him, the deceased did not provoke them.
He indicated that because the government had failed to create jobs for the people of Sefwi Asawinso, the only source of livelihood was the felling of trees from the forest for sale.
He therefore called on government to regulate and recognize the activities of chainsaw operators in the area, adding that currently their lives were in danger because of the alleged action of the Task Force.
He mentioned that the association had made official complaints to the Sefwi Asawinso District Police Commander, DSP Richard Boahen and that the police had assured that they would conduct thorough investigations into the case.
The spokesperson indicated that the body of the deceased had been conveyed from the residence of the herbalist and deposited at the Sefwi Juaboso Government Hospital morgue awaiting autopsy.