The leadership and stakeholders of Odugblase Limestone Quarry and Land Owners Association in the eastern region has met with the Eastern regional minister on Tuesday, June 11 to resolve a long time dispute for an amicable solution.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Nene Tiblo Kwabla IV, it states that, the eastern regional minister dissolved the two committees that were leading the Odugblase Limestone Quarry Landowners Association and asked that one unified committee should be formed under the watch of Yilo-Krobo and the Manya-Krobo Municipal Chief Executives so that the new committee and the company GHACEM/WAQ goes back to the negotiation table for progress, as a road map.
The association indicated that they can no more wait for GHACEM/WAQ lackadaisical or haphazard attitude and approach in delaying the whole process.
They disclosed that, they may as early as possible apply for the cancellation of their GHACEM/WAQ concession.
Below is the full statement
PRESS STATEMENT BY ODUGLASE LIMESTONE QUARRY LAND OWNERS ASSOCIATION
MEETING THE REGIONAL MINISTER-EASTERN REGION
All stakeholders involved met the Regional Minister on the 10th May, 2019 to resolve the matter for an amicable solution.
At the end of the meeting the Regional Minister dissolved the two committees that were leading the Odugblase Limestone Quarry Landowners Association and asked that one unified committee should committee should be formed under the supervision of the Yilo-Krobo and the Manya-Krobo Municipal Chief Executives so that the new committee and the company GHACEM/WAQ should go back to the negotiation table for progress, as a road map.
FORMATION OF THE COMMITTEE
ON THE 17TH May, 2019 the committee was successfully formed as directed.
The committee and the company had their first meeting on the 24th May, 2019 with the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Executive.
The company brought their proposals which the committee said they would like to study the contents.
The land owners on their part also agreed upon that within the shortest appropriate time they will also come out with their proposal for comparism.
Besides, it was agreed upon that, the first and foremost thing to be done is to survey the stretch of land covering about 60 land owners, and that of about 8 others, whose lands are used for waste deposit so as to make it easy for pricing when that stage is reached.
MEETING THE TRADITIONAL COUNCIL
It was very surprising that when the surveying process was underway the Manya-Krobo Traditional Council Conveyed another meeting which took place on the 3rd June, 2019. At the meeting, the konor of the Manya-Krobo Traditional Council among other things laid emphasis on the mineral and mining Act regarding the payment of compensations, but most specifically on deprivation for use of land.
STAKE HOLDERS PRESENT
It was surprising though, that the Eastern Regional Officer for mineral commission, The Administrator of stool lands Eastern Region, Land Valuation among others were present.
KONOR’S NEW COMMITTEE
Though it was not part of the agenda, a Committee comprising the Regional Officers for Mineral Commission, The Administrator of Stool lands – Eastern Region, Land Valuation, Nene Gbadadzi, Otsami Kofi, a representative of the Manya-Krobo Municipal Assembly and Martin Kwao who declined, formed members of that committee.
During the deliberation it came to light that the Manya-krobo Traditional Council has no specific stool land.
ARGUMENT AND DISAGREEMENT
Agitations were high when the land owners observed that Mr. E.K Sackitey the Coordinator of customary land secretariat was selective to write names on a piece of paper and was dictating names to the Konor to form the component of the Committee.
Even if the mineral Act Law permits the formation of such committee at the stage, it would have been transparent and more better if the land owners were asked to nominate a person of their own choice.
A Yilo-Krobo citizen suggested that since there are some Yilo Lands within the concession, a member from Yilo-Krobo should be represented on the committee His majesty Nene Konor agreed but E.K Sackitey opposed.
We suggested that His majesty, the Konor should be reserved so that he does not hinder the road map of the Regional Minister.
After all the Manya-Krobo Traditional Council mineral committee could not help solve the issue at the Traditional Council level for the past 14 years.
THE INTERVENTION OF THE REGULATORS
It would be considered as at when it becomes necessary. As per the Act, the intervention of regulators lies within the powers of the Minister through an application by either party.
As we won’t confer with the present committee formed by the Konor, GHACEM/WAQ should remember that as they know, their right to resume work lies with the right that they would be granted by the land owners or lawful occupiers of the land, as stated clearly in the mineral and mining Act 2019 section 7/2 but not the Traditional Council, any Chief or any individual.
The hindrance of the progress of work is in the domain of GHACEM/WAQ because they are aware that we started at the Traditional Council level and went ahead to the Regional Minister. What is the basis of coming back to the Traditional Council level which will jeopardize the directives of the Regional Minister.
The directives by the Konor that a survey should be conducted to map out the concession was already agreed upon and GHACEM/WAQ surveyors had already visited the site before the Monday 3rd June, 2019 meeting organized by the Konor. Moreover, we shall cause their involvement for advice as at when they will be needed as a credible institution.
We prefer that GHACEM/WAQ should maintain the position as per the directives of the Regional Minister and as agreed upon at the 24th may 2019 meeting to any other suggestion or agreement.
We can no more wait for GHACEM/WAQ using their lackadaisical or haphazard attitude and approach in delaying the whole process.
We may as early as possible apply for the cancellation of their concession. Clause 68 of the mining Act holds them to that effect.
It is too late for DESIMONE to come out with any document to proof that they have amalgamated with GHACEM/WAQ.
Above all things GHACEM/WAQ have created a dam as a death trap and left it over the years due to their deliberate unwillingness to do the right thing.
Especially payment of deprivation of use of land for the past 14 years which will pave way for them to resume work. Their claim, that the land owners are obstructing them to start operation is totally false.
NENE TIBO KWABLA IV ODJAM TETTEH