Following a Press conference held on Tuesday,12th April by the ‘Obuasi Must live’ coalition; a newly formed youth movement in Obuasi whose main aim is to champion the cause of bringing Obuasi back to its glorious days where Anglogold Ashanti and small scale coexisted peacefully to boost the economy of Obuasi. The Municipal Chief Executive for Obuasi, Hon. Richard Ofori Agyeman Boadi took time out of his busy schedule to hear the concerns of the movement.
Welcoming the group to his office, the aspiring legislator for the Obuasi East Constituency felicitated them for making the interest and wellbeing of the people of Obuas their priority and pledged his unflinching support to the group.
He assured the group that, after speaking with the Adansihene; Opagyakotwere Bonsra Afriyie II, the Overload of Adansi expressed his readiness to meet the leaders of the ‘Obuasi Must live’ coalition and see how best he can contribute to the survival of Obuasi and by extension Adansiman.
Hon. Ofori Agyeman apologised unreservedly to the group for the unprovoked attack on them during their press conference. He assured them of maximum security for the group in their subsequent programmes and activities.
Briefing the MCE on their activities and their Press conference, the convenor of the coalition Mr. Prince Aboagye dismissed the perception that the group is an appendage of a political party and stressed that the motive of the group is to ensure that Anglogold Ashanti gets back to its feet to be able to give jobs to the teaming unemployed youth in Obuasi.
He said as part of their petition to the President, they stated that the government should fast track measures to ensure that the 60% concession relinquished by Anglogold Ashanti is properly given to Certified Small scale Miners to operate on. They (the group) also appealed to the Municipal Chief Executive to liaise with the Regional Coordinating Council in Kumasi to instruct the Military personnel deployed to secure the operations of A G.A. to guard the concessions of the Mining company and not the Shafts as has been alleged.
Responding to the petition of the group, Hon. Ofori Agyeman Boadi said Anglogold Ashanti in 2014 announced that they were undertaking an underground development which occasioned the laying off of about 4,000 of their workers who were not indigenes of Obuasi and have since left the town. He continued that, unless a particular skill may not be available in Obuasi he will make sure majority of the workforce are indigenes of Obuasi when the company resumes full scale operations as part of the local content law of the mining sector.
He recounted the contributions he has made to ensure that the company gets back to its feet to start full scale operations. He cited instances where he intervened to secure a one year extension for their tailings from the Ministry of Mines and Natural Resources which will grant them the permission to Mine when Randgold initially came in to partner Anglogold Ashanti.
Hon. Ofori Agyeman Boadi said the current security situation at Anglogold Ashanti prompted the Regional Minister Hon. Alexander Ackon to constitute a made up of the Municipal Chief Imam, Nana Kwabena Ponkor; odikro of Kunka and one influential pastor to lead the quest to drive away the illegal miners from the concessions of Anglogold Ashanti. He however asked the leaders of the ‘Obuasi! Must Live ‘ group to forward their petition to him to enable him deliver it personally to the Regional Minister for onward redress.
On the relinquished concession of Anglogold Ashanti, the Obuasi MCE said he is in talks with his colleague Chief Executives in the districts where the said concessions are, to ensure their release to registered small scale miners.
He mentioned projects like the proposed Obuasi campus of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology which when established could provide jobs for about 600 people, the almost completed Artisanal site as among several projects which the Assembly has embarked upon to serve as alternatives for the Obuasi Mine .
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CC: The Municipal Chief Executive
Obuasi Municipal Assembly