Shared with YLNM by CIKOD, Ghana, on behalf of the Tome Community.
We the people of Tome, taking cognizance of article 257 (which talks about public lands and the ownership of mineral resources) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana, have pledged to halt the activities of any person or group of persons either than the state, who doer/do not follow due process before entering the community to carry out any activity or activities leading to surface mining.
The Azuma Resources Ltd. illegally entered the community without following due process. On the 28th of November 2014, the Assembly man met a team of the Azuma Resources Ltd workers doing some kind of surveying along the stream (Tombaa). He questioned them how they got into the community without the knowledge of the chiefs and their people.
Some months later, copies of notice to do auger drilling were given by the company to the chiefs and the Assemblyman. Having received the notice, we demanded to see the license permitting them. What we were given bore Jirapa/Lambusie District’s name. When we pointed out to them that it did not bear our District’s name, the public Relation Officer of the company told us it was a wrong license sent to us. We asked for the right document and an extension of the term of tenure was given to us which was also to expire on the 22nd of April, 2015.
After all these inter actions, we notified the Assembly about the activities of Azuma Resources Ltd. in the community and the stand we have taken.
We equally asked the company to pass through the Assembly to get an introductory letter or be introduced physically to us by the Assembly before dialogue could commence. At our level, it is the Assembly that represents the state. We equally wanted to be sure that the license was from the mineral commission.
We never received any letter from the Assembly, until one day, we spotted them (Azuma Resources workers) working in the community. They were stopped by some of the community members. When we enquired to find out who gave them the permission, the PRO claimed it was Nandom Naa.
A delegation was immediately sent to the chief to register our position about the activities of the Company in the community. We were asked by the chief (Nandom Naa) to get the District Chief Executive (DCE) informed, which we did.
On the……………..2015 a meeting (by radio announcement) was call by the PRO of Azuma Resources Ltd through our Paramount Chief involving our community (Tome), Vapuo and Tokuu. We attended the meeting and still stood our ground.
On the 19th of November, 2015 a copy of the introductory letter and copies of other documents that were given by the Nandom District and the Mineral Commission respectively to the company got to the Assemblyman.(copies attached).
On the 20th of November, 2015 a meeting was held upon the request of the PRO of the company through the Assemblyman. In that meeting, the community members once again stood their ground that they did not want the activities of the company in the community.
On the 12th of December, 2015 another meeting was called by the PRO of the company through the Nandom Naa by radio announcement on the 11th of December, 2015. Unfortunately, we failed to attach the meeting due to circumstances beyond our control which eventually led to the arrest of two of our members by the police under the instruction of Nandom Naa, our Paramount Chief on 14th December, 2015. The people were however granted bail the same day.
Our Assemblyman through phone call has been threatened by our Paramount Chief that he will be arrested by the police if he continues to impede the work of Azuma Resources Ltd in the Community.
All these things that have happened left us with no choice than to petition your humble office for a redress.
We have the following reasons to support our ground for the petition.
- Our District Name has not been cited in any of their documents.
- Our land is so small that any activities on it will lead our people to abject poverty
- The activities of the company will lead to the infiltration of “galamsey” operators with their accompanying negative effects in the community.
- With the activities of the company, the peace in the community cannot be granted. The company, Azuma Resources Ltd is noted for bringing stake holders of communities where they have entered at logger heads.
We hope our petition would be given the needed attention that it deserves.