Chief of Basake, elders protest mineral resources, forest reserves contract

Nana Bonya Kofi VI, Chief of Basake and Abusupayin Yemi of Etwe Kpanyinli Royal Stool of Aiyinasi and elders of the Basake community have petitioned the Minerals Commission and the Forestry Commission over the award of contract for mineral resources and forest reserves in the farming area.

‘This decision unanimously agreed upon, is to formally protest and register our displeasure in your operations and actions as a governing and controlling body for and on behalf of the State in the award of a contract without consideration to land ownership acquisitions tenets,’ a petition to the two institutions said.

It said as much as minerals of any sort were vested in the government of the State, lands involved in such were with the chiefs’ and their custodians.

The petition said it was, therefore, necessary to engage the chiefs and their elders in giving away their lands for exploration and forest activities.

‘After all, Nananom are expected to be watch overs of all such operations in and within their relative comm
unities. Wherefore then is the essence in justifications where we are left out in this chain regarding the Draw Forest Reserve concession,’ it asked.

The petition said a few days ago a fleet of timber felling equipment supported by tens of Forest Commission trucks-loaded personnel stealthily entered the Draw Forest Reserve to allegedly harvest timbers in the so-called Global Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA) with no notification from any government agency or official.

The petition said since the creation of the GSBA in the Draw Forest Reserve in the 1980s, the landlords had been denied the hitherto approved ‘Alternative Living Allowance’ (ALA) paid by the World Bank or its subsidiary financiers.

It said they had also been denied every effort to be allocated a compartment to harvest for their communities’ development agenda.

The petition said the mistreatment was contrary to the management of similar and adjoining Forest Reserve at Gwira Banso of the same Draw Forest Reserve.

It urged the Government th
rough the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Forestry Commission, the Administrator of Stool Lands and the Speaker of Parliament to stop the ‘colossal corruption’ in the management of the Draw Forest Reserve and the disrespect and mistreatment meted out to the chiefs and the people of the Aiyinasi-Basake communities in the Ellembelle District.

‘…We wish, therefore, to be given leads in order to ensure peaceful co-existence between us and our supposed and expected guests. Your expeditious respond is anticipated.’

Source: Ghana News Agency