There was a stand-off between the indigenes of Nkran, a suburb of Manso Nkwanta in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region, and security personnel when a soldier mistakenly shot and killed a young man, who was part of a group demonstrating against alleged unfair treatment by Asanko Gold Mines.
A middle-aged unemployed man, Yaw Badu, one of the leaders of the group, was shot on the forehead and he died instantly.
The youth were on their way to stop the mining company from officially handing over 88 two and three-bedroom houses to the indigenes, whose houses fell under the 500 metre designated site close to the operation site.
Per the mining law, any facility that could be affected during the blast to extract the ore was to be relocated.
Subsequently, the company, after what the youth said was a lengthy deliberation, agreed with the elders of the community to construct partial relocated sites to accommodate the affected people.
But the youth were unhappy about the money which was supposed to be paid by the company as a token to the affected residents apart from the houses allocated to them.
One of them, who gave his name only as Rabi, told the Daily Graphic that the Gh¢300 flat rate for each affected household was very insulting and wanted it to be reviewed.
The death of Badu and injury sustained by a woman, who was rushed to a nearby health facility, sparked a spontaneous clash between the entire town and the security personnel.
The District Police Command had to call for reinforcement to curtail what could have been a bloody face-off.
The District Police Commander, Supt Cosmos Damoah, confirmed the death to the Daily Graphic but said his men were not responsible.
He said they had only gone there upon the request of the mining company to maintain law and order.
The soldiers also said they did not shoot but rather had barricaded the place to prevent the youth from causing mayhem.
The Executive Chairman of the mining company, Dr Ben Adoo, said it was operating within the confines of the law and would pursue its rights once it was within the law.
While expressing regret at the death of the young man, he told the Daily Graphic “the law is the law.”
The chaos notwithstanding, the ceremony came off successful, but was overshadowed by the death of the man.
As per the agreement, the affected persons are to relocated to their new site within 14 days.
The 45 acre land, with modern facilities and a recreational centre, is seen as one of the best within the mining industry in recent times.