Local residents in David Dean Town, Kokoyah Statutory District, Bong County embarked on a demonstration over the weekend in protest of what they described as the alleged refusal of mining company MNG Gold to improve their living standards.
The NewDawn’s Bong County correspondent says aggrieved residents blocked the two roads leading to the company’s operation site, forcing workers to abandon their jobs on Saturday, 12 May.
The demonstrators threatened to beat anyone who tried to bypass the roadblock to enter the MNG compound.Three Bong County officials went on the scene to intervene, but the demonstrators were seen to be unwilling to listen to the officials. The aggrieved residents have come out too against Bong County Legislature Caucus chair Senator Henry W. Yallah, accusing him of compromising their interests.
They listed ten counts against the mining company that they say prompted their demonstration.Among the counts, the residents named the lack of safe drinking water, the usage of empty drums as culvert, the delay in completion of a vocational school and the alleged refusal of the company to pay cracked houses’ owners their benefits as major issues greatly affecting their living conditions.
It can be recalled that in 2017, little over one thousand houses were reportedly cracked as a result of the company’s alleged operation in the region.After the situation, MNG Gold allegedly promised to compensate victims of the situation, but the demonstrators say only small number of them received compensation.
“We are tired of been ill-treated by the company, so what we’re telling them is that either company improves our living conditions and stay, or it forgets about everything and leave,” Emmanuel Bondo, the Youth president told our correspondent.
Also speaking to reporters, Bong County Senator Henry Willie Yallah denied claim that he has been receiving brown envelopes as alleged by the demonstrators.
Mr. Yallah says he will continue advocating for the people of the region as part of his responsibility as leader of the County.
Meanwhile, an immediate meeting has been scheduled for Saturday as part of efforts in resolving the matter. At the meeting, residents and officials of the Mining Company will go back to the drawing table to decide tangible projects that will benefit the citizens.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong –Edited by Winston W. Parley