Adina (V/R), March 18, GNA - Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Volta Region have pleaded with irate communities who attacked the Seven Seas Salt Company last week at Adina in the Ketu South Municipality to exercise restraint.
The MPs who were in the area on Friday following reports of clashes between workers of the company and the indigenes called for order as a starting process for a permanent resolution to the issue.
Last Tuesday two young men from Agbevekope, near Adina, allegedly assaulted a staff of the company who attempted to stop them from stealing salt from the company’s consignment.
The young men were arrested but released later following pleas by elders of the community.
Enraged youths from Adina, therefore, allegedly besieged the factory on Wednesday and damaged properties including major electrical installations, the control room and vehicles and made away with major properties such motor bikes, electrical motors, and pumping machines.
A youth from Adina, Atsu Nkegbe, 24, died instantly from alleged gunshots by police in the ruckus.
Two others, including a lady, were also wounded from the gunshots and are said to be receiving treatment at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
The communities, including Adina, Agbevekope and Adinamornu, accused the company of harassment and blamed it for causing the long drought in the area resulting in the drying up of domestic wells and their coconut plantations because the company used underground water for production instead of sea water.
They said the company reneged on the promise of creating 600 meters of salt pans for the use by locals seven long years of its establishment.
Mr Kofi Humado, the MP for Anlo, spokesperson for the MPs, told the people they were in the area on the orders of the Speaker of Parliament.
He said Parliament would be inviting the Minerals Commission and Lands and Natural Resources Ministry on the terms and processes of the Seven Seas Company’s establishment.
Mr Humado said that would help address any immediate lapses to assure both the citizens and investors of government’s commitment to protecting the interests of the locals and investors.
He said the Ketu South Assembly would be asked to consider a support for the deceased family and the injured.
Mr Adams Mensah, the Company’s Public Relations Officer, described the attack by the youth as unfortunate and that seven years was too short a time to meet its social responsibilities.
“Documentation works alone took more than two years, aside the months for equipment mobilisation, site development and production lay outs, which are still going on and no investor uses its investment capital right away on social responsibilities,” he said.
Togbi Sri III, the Awoamefia of Anlo, who also visited the factory, said the incident was regrettable and ‘anti-job creation’ and called for community restraint.
Meanwhile production has stopped with all workers, including the expatriate staff, vacating their post with the exception of internal security and the police.