The Founder of the Third World Network-Africa (TWN-Africa), Dr Yaw Graham has been advised to stay clear off the activities in Ada as far as the development of the Songor Salt is concerned.
The caution came at the heels of what residents in Ada, especially the youth said was an attempt to stoke fire among the people and reignite the tension as regard the lease of the Lagoon to Electrochem Ghana Limited.
Speaking to some youth from Ada, mostly from Salom and Toflokpo, they expressed great disappointment in Dr. Graham for trying to ignite fire in Ada which has seen peace over the period.
According to them, the leasing of the Songor Lagoon to Electrochem Ghana Limited initially generated some controversies and that the controversies were ignited by the Libi Wonor and people like Dr. Yaw Graham who were visibly opposing the idea of developing the Songot Lagoon.
They said, residents later got to understand the whole project and have come to welcome the idea and hence, any attempt by Dr Yaw Graham and his cohorts to, again, stoke fire in the various communities will be resisted.
Residents insisted that the coming of Electrochem Ghana Limited to develop the Songor Lagoon will do them more good than what others including Dr. Graham are claiming.
“Is Dr. Graham not aware of the numerous job opportunities created here in Ada since Electrochem took over the Songor Lagoon? Why is he now trying to bring confusion among us. We have been comfortable with the project and majority of us now have work to do and earning enough to take care of our families. Dr. Graham must tell us if he can give us jobs,” one of the angry youth said in an interview.
They also pointed out that the entire Ada led by its paramount chief, Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III is now pleased with the work being done by Electrochem Ghana Limited.
“I can tell you for a fact that we have been living a miserable life until Electrochem Ghana Limited came in. Imagine what would have happened to most of us if not for the lease of the Lagoon to Electrochem and the employment opportunities the company had generated for us so far,” they indicated.
It is however on record that over 2,000 indigenes of Ada have already been employed in various capacities at the concession and when the salt mine becomes fully operational, over 6,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created.
Speaking to some people in the area, they indicated that since the three mining leases have been granted Electrochem Gh. Ltd. over the Songor Lagoon for 15 years, majority of the youth who hitherto are living idle, have been employed and are earning meaningful wages.
According to residents, the increasing rate of unemployment in Ada has led to the surge in social vices such as armed robbery, smoking and stealing among the youth.
They sent a clear signal to Dr. Yaw Graham that the Lagoon belongs to the Ada community and not for any individual and for that, they are ready to fight, support and ensure that Electrochem Ghana which has proven beyond any all doubts to improve their living conditions and ensure jobs and development in the communities is successful with its operations.
They also averred that, it beats their imagination to see Dr. Yaw Graham who is enlightened to stoop so low to allow himself to be used by people they described as “enemies of the progress of Ada.”
“We don’t want to believe that Dr. Yaw Graham is among those self-seeking politicians and traditional leaders who are against the development of Ada. We want Electrochem Ghana, we want progress, we want development and nothing can stop that agenda,” they noted.
Meanwhile, information gathered by this paper is that Dr. Yaw Graham is using his Third World Network (TWN) to pitch residents against McDan and Electrochem Ghana Limited.
This he planned to do by sponsoring a press conference against the project and kick against government’s decision to lease the Songor Lagoon to Electrochem Ghana Limited.
However, speaking to some local salt winners who Dr. Graham claimed have become trespassers in their own community heritage which is the Songor Lagoon, they said they are comfortable with the arrangement they are having with Electrochem Ghana.
According to them, Electrochem Ghana is constructing community pans, with some already completed which will help them in their salt mining business.
“It is not true that we have become trespassers in our own community. We have fruitful engagement with Electrochem and what is going on at Songor is the best legacy which we are all going to benefit from, some of us have started benefiting already, so we will tell whoever is making that frivolous claim to desist from that and rather see the positive side of the project,” they said.
“We also want to state here that Electrochem is not creating tension in Ada, it is rather Dr. Yaw Graham and his masters who are trying to bring that tension by confusing the people once again, after Libi Wonor had failed in similar agenda against government and the project,” they maintained.