A planned protest by members of Small Scale Miners Association in the Ashanti Region yesterday was forcefully cancelled by the Ashanti Regional Police Command.
About 10 of the miners who attempted to challenge the orders of the police and some of whom were supposedly carrying ‘offensive weapons’ were arrested by the police and will be processed for court soon.
According to reports, members of the association, who were protesting what they termed “maltreatment by the New Patriotic Party Government,” gathered at the Heroes Park near the Asokwa Police Station, waiting for more of their colleagues to arrive.
However, even before their colleagues from other districts could join them, police personnel from the Ashanti regional Police Command arrived and ordered them to disperse.
The situation became a bit chaotic as the illegal miners attempted to ignore the police personnel, leading to firing of tear gas.
However, a timely torrential rain which fell around 12:00 p.m., easily dispersed all the protesters.
The Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Juliana Obeng, explaining their reason for firing the tear gas, told journalists that the police had informed the aggrieved miners to reschedule their planned demonstration since they could not have men at the said date for their protection due to what she called security emergencies.
She said the leadership of the association would be invited for questioning.
Small scale miners in the country have been wailing at the ban placed on extraction in the country since they argue that they have been duly licenced by the state.
Even though they are complying with the ban, they have been issuing one threat after the other but government was still resilient.
Many Ghanaians have thrown their support behind the government, however, wishing there was an alternative source of livelihood for the miners who are now jobless.