We are suspecting foul play between our Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Achibald Yao Letsa, his Municipal Chief Executive officer, Hon. Maxwell Lugudor, Some ‘ Traditional Chiefs of Some’ led by one Chief Adamah and the Volta Regional representatives of the Minerals Commission and the EPA together with representatives of the Seven Seas Salt Company Ltd, the operators of the salt mining company whose activities has allegedly dispatched 16 lives to their early graves.
The aforementioned allegations started trending on the airwaves of Fafaa Fm after the joint consultative and fact-finding meeting between the above-mentioned parties at the behest of the Volta Regional Minister. The people claimed that their Regional Minister’s position on this matter is a clear case of conspiracy between himself and some of their chiefs who are directly benefitting from the illegal activities of the Seven Seas Company Ltd.
Dr. Archibald Letsa talking with some residents
They further alleged that, whereas on the 3rd day of November, 2022, Hon. Dr. Afriyie, the Minister for Environment Science and Technology declared on the floor of Parliament that the company has not secured environmental permit to operate within the areas where their death trap ponds were constructed; the Volta Regional Minister and his key conspirators gave a nod for the continuation of the illegality.
Click here to get full pdf. MCE Letter to Stop Work
It would be recalled on the 27th day of September, 2022, the people of Ketu South under the leadership of their elected Assembly men held a peaceful demonstration code named “Miekukum” to wit, we are dying, as a follow up to the death of 4 members of the family of Mr. Amewu Attiso, a teacher whose wife and children were drowned in the alleged illegally constructed ponds. This brought the number to 6 deaths within the one year during the reign of Hon. Maxwell Lugudor alone.
The aforementioned allegations necessitated the Duamenefa Foundation of Fafaa 1003 FM, Dzodze, a Social Intervention and Human Right Advocacy NGO made up of over 30,000 registered and certified volunteers of the Volta Region, through its Executive President, Mr. Emmanuel Ketaman Evortepe, who doubles as the CEO of Fafaa 100.3 FM, Dzodze, to conduct an independent investigation to unravel the mysteries behind the activities of the stakeholders who are allegedly benefitting from the illegal activities of the Seven Seas Company to the detriment of the vulnerable. Find below the response to on-air interrogations of stakeholders:
- Assembly men of Ketu South claimed they did not know of any approvals granted to the Seven Seas Company by EPA to operate within the Adafienu concessions, an area code named “White Dor”. They also claimed there was no community engagement between the people of the said areas and the Seven Seas Company, a pre-condition to an EPA approval, whereas the Regional Minister during the meeting on Friday claimed he saw a photograph of community engagement held in Vicabambar Hotel. A meeting the assembly man, Hon. Dakunya claimed was called at the insistence of the PRO of Seven Seas for a dialogue concerning illegal encroachment of areas under Akame and Yelibato areas. How can a meeting between 20 people more or less be termed a community engagement, Dakunya fumed.
- The Municipal Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Maxwell Lugudor was interviewed and he claimed that his predecessor, Hon. Elliot Agbenorwu issued an approval to the Seven Seas Company to carry its operations within the White Dor unapproved areas, an allegation the predecessor debunked with a proof of ” STOP WORK ” notice he issued to the Seven Seas Ltd dated 2nd September, 2021, Hon. Agbenorwu called on Hon. Lugudor to explain the reasons behind the flagrant disregard to the notice issued to the company during his tenure of office , an action which allegedly resulted in the death of six innocent souls during the one year reign of Hon. Maxwell Lugudor.
- All attempts by Fafaa Fm, through phone call, text messages, Whatsapp messages to Hon. Lugudor to clarify the issues in the public domain for close to one month were abortive, as he failed to respond to the messages and the phone calls, an action the citizenry considers the genesis of the foul play.
- Samuel Petit Haligah, the Ketu South Constituency Chairman was interviewed on Fafaa FM to tell the public the whereabouts of his Municipal Chief who was in hibernation “three weeks” after his predecessor unravel the truths surrounding the stoppage of works during his tenure.
- The constituency chairman responded by telling the public that the need for the right of response of the Municipal Chief Lugudor cannot be overemphasized since the onus lies on him to clarify the allegations of his predecessor. Mr. Haligah also used the occasion to call on the Seven Seas Industries to halt its activities within the unapproved areas, and do the needful. Mr. Haligah also mentioned that some traditional chiefs of the Ketu South are direct beneficiaries of the illegal activities of the Seven Seas Salt Ltd, to the detriment of the vulnerable.
- The Executive President of the Duamenefa Foundation called the Regional Director of the NCCE, Mr. Ken Kponor to educate the public on the minerals and mining acts, 2006, (act 703), Mr. Kponor through his education elaborated on the need to make all documents relating to the salt mining activities public documents in the interest of the assembly men and the people of the various communities.
- Kponor says in line with the provisions of the 1992, constitution, nothing should be shredded in secrecy, a position the Municipal Chief Executive and his accomplices such as the Seven Seas Company, Togbi Adama and Co failed to comply with, even though a team of journalists from Fafaa FM visited the office of the MCE for verification of the public documents in his custody; he refused to make the documents available to the news team.
- More worrisome to the Duamenefa Foundation and the people of Ketu South was the questions posed to the Minister of Environment Science and Technology, Hon. Dr. Afriyie on the floor of parliament on Thursday the 3rd day of November, 2022 by Hon. Dzudzorli Gakpey, the MP of Keta Constituency, regarding the environmental permit of the Seven Seas Company in respect of the White Dor areas.
- The Minister in his response published in answers to parliamentary questions ** 1316. of 3rd November, 2022, responded to Mr. Speaker by saying the company (Seven Seas Company) submitted an application for EIS of the project on the 25th November, 2021 and EPA issued public notifications to that effect, but the approval has not been granted. On the 4th November, less than 24 hours after Dr. Afriyie’s declarations, the Volta Regional Minister in company with his regional regulatory representatives claimed the project should continue in the unapproved areas.
This is why the people of the Ketu South were suspecting foul play between the Regional Minister, his associates, the beneficiary chiefs, and the Seven Seas Company Ltd.
The Duamenefa Foundation of Fafaa FM may embark on a massive demonstration with its over 30,000 membership and non-members alike to drive home the need for the stakeholders placed in positions of trust to come out clear in the public interest.
Watch Out for further development………………………
Source: duamenefafoundation.org / news editor in chief