General News of Saturday, 12 December 2015
Artisanal Small Scale Miners Association at Obuasi in the Ashanti region has descended heavily on the Mahama administration for placing a ban on mining in the area.
They bemoaned the unprecedented poverty levels in the area since government placed a ban on small-scale mining at Obuasi, which is their ancestral home.
The aggrieved members of the group said they would vote massively against President Mahama and the NDC parliamentary candidate in the area in the 2016 general elections if they are not allowed to work immediately.
According to them, the NDC administration has not provided jobs for the people, adding that the government’s decision to stop their operations had worsened their plight.
Speaking at a press conference at Obuasi on Wednesday, Rufus Bory, Secretary to the group, said as law-abiding citizens, they would hit the streets in a peaceful demonstration on Tuesday.
“If the president is not creating jobs, he must not aid Anglogold Ashanti from stopping us from working,” he argued, noting that life has become difficult for the people since the enforcement of the government’s ban on ‘galamsey’ he said.
Bory insisted that galamsey takes place in all the mines of Anglogold worldwide.
He stated that small scale mining exist in places like Rustenburg and Johannesburg, all in South Africa, adding that “Columbia Anglogold negotiated with FARC rebel group simply because they wanted to operate.”
He urged the government to act quickly to help save lives.
Bory said his colleagues, who wore red attire to show their angry at the press conference, would not be intimidated by scores of armed soldiers deployed by government lately.
“Our only crime is that we want to survive in a country where our government is unable to provide jobs for the teeming youth, adding that they would not accept any last-minute attempt by government to lift the ban for political purposes.
Poverty is gradually killing the people of Obuasi so the government should act now by allowing the small-scale miners to work so that they can take care of their families, he stated.