The Association of Chiefs on whose land GREL operates ACLANGO has condemned the destruction of about 33,000 rubber trees and other acts of vandalism on Ghana Rubber Estates Ltd, the GREL staff.
The destruction of trees which occurred on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th July at Gyabenkrom is estimated to cost around €95,000 equivalent to GHS 1,140,000.
The Chairman of ACLANGO Nana Kwesi Agyemang IX, the Paramount Chief of Lower Dixcove said for the past 4 years, some individuals purporting to serve the interest of Nananom have been encroaching on GREL’s legally acquired lands for various uses. It is however important to note that since 1993, GREL and Nananom through the Association of Chiefs on whose Lands GREL Operates (ACLANGO) have been working and living peacefully and that anytime a community needed portions of GREL’s legally acquired concession for community expansion, or any developmental project, the parties engage each other in a peaceful manner until an agreement is reached.
He added that the sudden trend of forceful take-over of GREL lands under the guise of “community expansion” and for “galamsey” is therefore an act of illegality that needs to be condemned right away and the perpetrators, regardless of their social, economic, and political status, brought to book in accordance with the laws of Ghana.
The Plantation Development Manager of GREL Shaibu Karimu Bayugo who took a team of media men and nananom to the destruction sites gave an overview of the extent of damage caused and the negative effects it can have on the economy like driving potential investors away from the country.
He said little investment could lead to a rise in unemployment with its attendant consequences. He went on to say that such barbaric actions would let shareholders turn their attention elsewhere.
For his part, the Corporate Affairs Manager of GREL Perry Acheampong said the company creates a lot of employment opportunities for the people in their catchment communities and it is therefore unfortunate that something like that could happen.
He called on the security services to act by investigating the matter and bringing those responsible to book.
He was also happy that the Gyabenkrom community is helping them find the culprits.
Mr Acheampong also added that an official press statement would be issued by the company in the course of the week.
Source: Rosaline Djan