Talensi Protest: Police press release ‘reveals’ another anti-Shaanxi group

A press release, believed to have been issued by the Upper East Regional Police Command, is showing there is another group that intends to stage a protest against the Shaanxi Mining Ghana Ltd in the Talensi District soon.

The group, mentioned in the first paragraph of the said news release as the “Concerned Citizens of Gbane”, is reported to have announced it will picket on the premises of the Chinese-owned mining company for 3 months, beginning from Friday January 10, 2020.

The group’s alleged schedule coincides with an already-announced plan by the Leaders of Gbane for Peace and Development (LOGPED) to picket on Shaanxi’s premises for 2 months— between Friday January 10, 2020, and Tuesday March 10, 2020, over a breach of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

LOGPED announced in December, 2019, it would stage a “peaceful protest” in demand for return of some 71.16 acres of land leased in 2013 to the company and said to be valued at 28,458 million Ghana cedis.

Reasons for the intended picketing by the “Concerned Citizens of Gbane” are not stated in the purported police statement, a soft copy of which has the letterhead of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and has gone viral on social media platforms. The police, in the said notice, objected to the intention of the “Concerned Citizens of Gbane” to picket for 3 months. Whilst asking the group to reconsider and to reapply [for permit], the purported press release warned it would be illegal to proceed with the protest against the “Public Order Act”.

The Upper East Regional Police Commander, DCOP Osei Ampofo-Duku, is purported to have signed and issued that press release. Telephone calls were placed to the commander to help the media substantiate the veracity of the release and to confirm the existence of the new anti-Shaanxi group in the region. He did not answer the calls and also did not respond to a message sent to him via WhatsApp in connection with the reported announcement.

The purported press release by the Upper East regional police command

We would Comply but Nothing will not Stop the Picketing— LOGPED

Meanwhile, members of the Leaders of Gbane for Peace and Development say if they ever receive any notice from the police urging them to rethink and cut down the number of days scheduled for the planned picketing, they would comply. But they say the protest will still take place as intended.

“We are law-abiding citizens and we will follow due process to the letter to get our protest (picketing) staged within the premise of the Public Order Act. But we will resist any oppressor from any of the security services who would like to dine with Shaanxi and to use his or her position to abuse and to intimidate us.

“We will again be interested to be directed or guided by the police if need be to reschedule the days of our protest. If the purported press release actually originated from the police, we may have a rethink and reduce the number of days to one week for the picketing. But no matter what, nothing will stop us from picketing. What goes up will surely come down,” LOGPED’s principal leader, Tii-roug Zumah Yaro, told the press on Sunday.

The Coalition of Pressure Groups against Dangerous Mining and Wrongful Occupancy of Farmlands declared its support for LOGPED recently ahead of the upcoming picketing.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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