Wontumi’s company has no business mining in the Tano Forest Reserve – Kweku Baako

Ace journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jr. has berated Akonta Mining for engaging in mining activities in Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Amenfi West Municipality in the Western Region.

Chairman Wontumi

He said the company, which is owned by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ashanti Regional Chairman, Chairman Wontumi has no license to mine the forest reserve.

Speaking on Accra based Peace FM's "Kokrokoo" discussion show, Kweku Baako berated the company for having intruded on the reserve when it knew it had no authorization.

"I have checked all the licences they hold from 2011, 2012 till date and it doesn't have one for forest reserve. But the last one which the company's application is pending, the one in August, it has not been approved but that is in the forest reserve. So, what was the company doing there?...They had no business being in that particular place doing anything because, first of all, they haven't approved that licence", he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.

He charged the government to get to the bottom of the issue stressing, "this is tough call, a really tough call that again how this matter is handled would either enhance the integrity of the fight or diminish it".

"The issue is not that they have applied for a licence to go into a forest reserve. The issue is that you don't have a licence yet but the company is there. Why? What kind of impunity is that?", he exclaimed.

It could be recalled that personnel from the Forestry Commission were recently chased out of the forest reserve by some muscular men when they went to stop workers of the company from mining.

Following the incident, Akonta Mining Ltd, a mining company owned by the ruling New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Bosiako a.k.a Chairman Wontumi, has been stopped by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources from mining in the forest reserve.

Although the company claims to have a mining lease to operate in the forest reserve, the Ministry however says it has no right to mine in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.

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