The regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Naa Andani Yakubu Abdulai has called on government to institute an investigation into circumstances leading to the burning of some 14 tipper trucks, an excavator and some motorbikes at Afayili in the Kumbungu District of the Northern region.
The military, on Saturday March 3, allegedly stormed the Afayili sand winning site where the sand winners were relocated to by the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and set the trucks ablaze.
The action has enraged members of the Tipper Truck Drivers Union who have called for a full scale investigation into the matter.
The Northern regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, who was accused of instructing the military to carry out the exercise, has said REGSEC did not sanction the action, explaining that it was Operation Vanguard team which carried out the exercise.
Adding his voice to the numerous calls for proper investigation into the issue, the Kampakuya-Naa, in a statement issued on Tuesday March 6, 2018, condemned the action of the military and said it was at variance with the rule of law.
“I believe that, the authorities could have handled the situation in a much better way than the preferred violent option which imposes grave economic hardships on several families in an economic environment already characterised by serious unemployment,” the statement added.
He appealed to the president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to intervene and ensure that the affected persons are duly compensated for their loss.
“I also hereby call for the early intervention of His Excellency the President to ensure the payment of appropriate compensation to the owners of the illegally destroyed equipment and machinery which have hitherto been a source of livelihood for several families,” he said.
Below is the full statement:
TO: ALL MEDIA HOUSES
DATE: 6TH MARCH, 2018
PRESS RELEASE ON THE BURNING OF 14 TIPPER TRUCKS
AND OTHER EQUIPMENT
It is with great sorrow that I learnt of the military action on Saturday, 3rd March, at Afayili, near Dalung, in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region which saw 14 Tipper Trucks, an excavator, several motor bikes and other equipment reduced to ashes.
While I appreciate the concerns of the authorities for the environment and the negative impact of sand winning on the principal source of potable water for the Metropolis and several other communities, such wanton violence appears to be at total variance with the rule of law that we all cherish and seek to promote in our country. I believe that, the authorities could have handled the situation in a much better way than the preferred violent option which imposes grave economic hardships on several families in an economic environment already characterised by serious unemployment.
It is my sincere hope that His Excellency the President and the Military High Command will investigate this sad development and take steps to ensure that such acts are not repeated. It is important to state that, I fully support His Excellency the President’s policy to end Galamsey and other illegal mining activities in Ghana but do not find the burning of expensive equipment to be in the best interest of our Motherland.
I also hereby call for the early intervention of His Excellency the President to ensure the payment of appropriate compensation to the owners of the illegally destroyed equipment and machinery which have hitherto been a source of livelihood for several families. The inhabitants of the village and the Divisional Chief of the area are traumatised as a result of this act of brutality. I call on them, on the vehicle owners and on the drivers to remain calm in the hope that, the competent authorities will act early to make good the losses imposed on them.
I avail myself of this opportunity to extend to all Dagboŋ and Ghana at large, best wishes for a happy 61st anniversary.
REGENT OF DAGBↃŊ
(KAMPAKUYA-NAA ANDANI YAKUBU ABDULAI)
By: Yahaya Masahudu, email@example.com