A planned demonstration by the Ashanti Regional chapter of the Small Scale Miners Association scheduled for today, September 12, 2017 has been scuttled by the Police following the law enforcement body’s refusal to give the protesters protection for their march.
The demonstrators had planned to hit the streets to protest over government’s refusal to regularize their operations after the expiration of the six months ban on their legitimate enterprise, but the Police has refused to give them clearance and men for the protest this morning.
Ultimate FM’s Justice Bediako reports that the demonstration has almost hit a snag leaving the over 300 protesters withdrawing from the protest.
According to him, there were other members of the Association who were bused from Obuasi to the Ashanti regional capital, but have been left stranded at the Police barrier following the Police refusal to allow them entry into Kumasi.
The Police interference is seen as a major setback to the planned protest with the leadership of the small scale miners not too much enthused about the latest twist of events.
Spokesperson for the Ashanti Regional chapter of the Small Scale Miners Association , Mike Gizo said the frustration by the Police in relation to their demonstration is worrying.
“They can go back to their post now, we’ve changed our minds on the demonstration. I’m really scandalized by the Police and their action this morning after them giving us permit and now we have to face this frustration from them because they are being manipulated by faceless people to block our protest. We are not holding the demonstration again. and we will handle this issue our own way.”
The ban was part of government’s move to fight illegal mining, however the group argues their main source of livelihood is being destroyed as long as the ban remains in force, hence the demonstration.