By Jack Adom
The Obuasi police is doing further investigation for possible prosecution ?of the ?infamous? explosive – throwing illegal miner and his accomplices, who nearly killed 10 AngloGold Ashanti security guards at Obuasi recently with explosives.
Alabila Atia, a renegade illegal miner at Tutuka, a suburb of Obuasi ?last week lighted and hurled explosives on the company?s security guards, who were patrolling the ?underground operation. Unfortunately one of the explosives he lighted blew his right arm before he could threw it. ?The 20 year old young man, ?is currently on admission at Komfo Anokye for medical attention and investigations are ongoing to ensure that we build up a strong case for possible prosecution in the near future?, DSP Matthew Asante said.
Meanwhile alarmed by the widespread illegal use of ?powerful explosives in the country, the government is to start investigation into the mode of ?acquisition and use of explosives in Obuasi and other ?mining communities by galamsey operators. This was disclosed by the outgoing Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, during his working visit to Obuasi??on Tuesday, ?and warned that individuals and companies behind the illegal sale and distribution of explosives to illegal miners to stop their nefarious activities before they are ?made to face the full force of the laws of Ghana.
The Regional Minister expressed his shock? at the increasing activities of illegal miners in the Obuasi municipality, where galamsey operators, with assistance of gold dealers, are using powerful explosives to mine their way on surface and underground ?of the Obuasi mine. He said, ?we want to get to the bottom of where the illegal miners have been getting their explosives and those found to be acting illegally will be dealt with according to the laws of the country?.
The government, according to the minister, ?was sending a strong signal to everyone that it will enforce the law, so every individual who wants to mine should follow the mining laws the country so that they could be given recognition and protection. ?If we allow lawlessness to continue, the whole country will collapse?, adding that ??those ?who are involved in illegal activities should end it now?.
Mr Opoku reassured the AngloGold Ashanti management of government?s support and assistance to ensure safe and secure operations at the mine
Encouraged by the significant reduction of illegal miners on Obuasi concession, Mr. Fred Attakumah ? Acting Managing Director of Obuasi Mine commended the government,? notably the President of Ghana, His Excellency John Mahama, for deploying the anti-illegal mining taskforce to the Obuasi Municipality and urged the regional minister and other stakeholders to expand and sustain the security operation.
Mr. Attakumah informed the minister that the Obuasi mine is facing several challenges which have necessitated a change of strategy to ensure that the 117-year old mine is transformed into a modern operation to recapture its former glory as the leading mine in the country. He said management has started discussions with government and other stakeholders on the new plan and at the appropriate time, the relevant details will be made known to all concerned.
On the specific issue of illegal mining activities, Mr. Attakumah expressed grave concern about recent escalations observed on the mine whereby firearms and explosives were now being used by illegal miners against the mine?s employees, and called for immediate intervention by government to curb the situation given the potential implications it had for the security and viability of the mine as well as security at the national level.