Saboteurs of multi-million Dollar salt project by Electrochem Ghana Limited at Ada in Greater Accra Region have upped their game.
This time they have engaged the services of hoodlums from Ashaiman and other areas to harass workers of the company as they are doing their legitimate work.
The charged hoodlums, last week Thursday, managed to take some workers of Electrochem Ghana Limited hostage, inflicting serious wounds on others and destroying some equipment belonging to the company, all in the attempt to prevent the workers from working.
Shockingly, after the dastardly act, the saboteurs rather planted stories on various media platforms, to effect that Electrochem Ghana was harassing residents of the Ada area.
But the Ada District Police Commander, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Aboagye, has revealed that some people are feeding certain persons opposing the project with lies.
According to him, some people have been told that Electrochem would take over the whole Ada area; something which is not true.
He explained that last Thursday, workers of the company were going to pick coordinates of the site when they were assaulted by some group of persons.
“They were assaulted severely beyond human comprehension,” he noted.
He mentioned that on the first day of the incident, no arrest was made because the matter had then not been reported to the police.
DSP Aboagye said he believed that due to the severity of injuries sustained by the Electrochem staff, they couldn’t come to the police station to report; but were rushed to the hospital for medical attention.
According to him, again on Thursday when the company was constructing a road from the site to Lolonya, where there is a tunnel that directs the flow of water, the bulldozer operator was severely beaten and was nearly lynched.
In view of the constant attacks the company is receiving from the group of thugs, management of the company has informed the police and sought police assistance to enable them carry out their work.
The police, he said, went to the area and again, was met with brute force which resulted in exchanges leading to the arrest of nine persons who are assisting the police in their investigations.
He explained that persons who sustained gunshot injuries were discovered to have sustained that from pump action guns and not from an AK47 assault rifle used by the police.
“We don’t use pump action guns. We are investigating the matter,” he said.
He also revealed that upon the arrest of the nine suspects, other groups amassed at the police station armed with offensive weapons, ready to attack the police, and two of them were arrested.
He said investigations are ongoing and soon the suspects will be put before Court.
The District Chief Executive Officer (DCE) of the area, Mr. Adzoteye Lawer Akrofi, explained that it was the whole Ada, comprising chiefs and heads of all the clans that came together and fought for the development of the Songor Lgoon.
He said, it emerged that Libi Wornor wants only the Tekperbia We clan to sign the document to Electrochem Ghana Limited, but that is not a cogent idea.
Meanwhile, some residents who witnessed last week’s incidents are claiming that people who have attacked Electrochem Ghana Limited staff and the police were not from any of the Ada communities, but were bussed thugs from the Ashaiman to scuttle site preparations being made by the investor to kick start the project.
Last week’s shooting incidence which was reported to have been engineered by Electrochem Ghana Limited, was concocted story just to create the impression as though residents of Ada are against the project.
The Ada people are accusing a former Member of the Council of State who hails from the area with interests in the financial sector and the destooled Libi Wornor, as the brains behind all the unpleasant developments over the Songor Salt project.
According to eyewitnesses, persons who have sustained gunshot wounds in the Toflokpo and Salom communities in Ada, Graeter Accra Region, for allegedly preventing Electrochem Ghana Limited from operating there were not from the communities.
The company, having sensed danger from the activities of the aliens in the community against its workers, informed the police of the incidence and called for police protection whilst its workers work for smooth take off of the project.
Some hoodlums confronted the police at Madagbeh amidst stones throwing, clubs and gunshots resulting in the arrest of some persons and others sustaining gunshot wounds from the warning shots fired by the police.
Upon the arrest of some of the thugs, it became clear that they are not residents of Ada but were brought in to generate confusion and create the impression as though they are indigenes.
“We don’t know them, we don’t know where they came from. But later, we got to realize that they were brought into the community from Ashiaman. As residents of Ada, we are very sad at the turn of events where some few people will try to hold the whole Ada state to ransom.
This is a good project which has already begun giving us, especially the youth employment. Lots of us have secured jobs as result of the project; so if for somebody’s selfish interest, we should remain poor, then I don’t think we will allow that,” angry youth of the community said.
According to residents, they are not fools and for that matter cannot be taken for granted; stressing that they cannot be used to work against Electrochem Ghana Limited’s takeover of the Songor Lagoon.
“We support the project and there is no way we will fight the investors,” they said.
Speaking to the youth, chiefs and elders of Ada, they stressed their commitment to the project and said they are wholeheartedly in support of Electrochem Company limited.
Electrochem Ghana Limited is expected to pump over $100million into the first phase of the project. It is believed that some $16million have already been spent on the project.
The company has a 15-year mining license and is expected to mine some 1.2 million metric tons of salt for export. Five per cent of the salt will be for Ghana’s local market.
The first phase of the project is expected to employ some 1,000 work force whiles the second phase will employ over 3,000 workers.
The presence of Electrochem Ghana Limited has started have good effects on the economic activities of the area as houses that were hitherto unoccupied are now being occupied with owners making money from rent.
The company is providing schools, toilet facilities, Community Training Centre as well as water facilities for the area as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Some 3,000 sewing machines and 3,000 hair dryers have been procured to help young ladies in the area to secure themselves with employment.
Electrochem Ghana Limited, is a subsidiary of the Mcdan Group, commenced operations on the Ada Songor salt project site after a special commissioning ceremony was performed in December 2020.
The Ada Songor salt site is said to have a potential production capacity of about 1.4 million metric tons.