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The District Chief Executive (DCE) of New Abirem, Raymond Damte, has condemned the Police for using brute force against defenseless land owners demonstrating against Newmont Ghana Ltd, over compensation.
Damte, who was speaking to a radio station in Accra in reaction to police shooting of seven land owners at Newmont Akyem project site, wondered how the police could use live bullets against defenseless demonstrators who carried no weapon and weren’t violent.
“In a worse case, they (police) could use tears gas to disperse the demonstrators; why did they decide to use live bullet against demonstrators who carried no weapons and were not violent,” he asked angrily.
He called for investigation into the incident that saw the police shooting seven demonstrators, with one still in critical conditions.
Police men detailed at the project site to monitor the demonstration on Tuesday, opened fire on the protesters, mostly farmers whose land had been given to Newmont for mining, severely wounding seven.
The demonstrators were calling for adequate compensation for their land that was given out to the firm for mining purposes.
They claim they were given compensation for only one year of the total fifteen years that Newmont got the land for.
They had earlier in the year staged a similar demonstration to press home their demands.
Compensation package for the land owners, mostly farmers, for an acre of land, was six hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC600.00) an equivalent of about one hundred and thirty United States Dollars (USD130.00).
The compensation package for each acre of cocoa was seven thousand and two hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC7,200.00) or about one thousand and five hundred United States Dollars USD1500.00; an acre of citrus is four thousand and two hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC4,200.00) or about nine hundred United States Dollars (USD900.00) and same for an acre of palm trees.
Meanwhile, Spokesperson for the land owners, Mr. Ntiamoah Denkyira, has declared that the land owners wouldn’t relent in their efforts at getting adequate and fair compensation for their land.
“We shall continue to fight for what is due us by any means we deem appropriate until Newmont complies,” he said.