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The Western Regional Police Commander, DCOP Nathan Kofi Boakye, has ordered Nana Amponsah Panyin IV, Chief of Ayiem, a farming community in the Mpohor district of the region to, as a matter of urgency, halt the dredging and diversion of the course of River Subiri in the area.

It would be recalled that in the Wednesday, September 11, 2013 edition of the Daily Guide, it was reported that there was uneasy calm in the farming community of Ayiem.

This followed the accusation by the Abusuapanyin of the area Nana Kwadwo Atta III that the chief was permitting illegal mining activities in the only source of drinking water of the people.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that a section of the youth of the community who demonstrated against the alleged operations of the illegal miners were arrested, put before court and remanded.

Meanwhile, Chief Supt Issah Ahmed Yakubu, Kwesimitsim District Police Commander debunked all the accusations and said a heap of sand in the said river caused flooding in some parts of the community whenever it rained.

“The chief and some opinion leaders therefore decided to engage the services of an excavator operator to dredge the river and change its course to curtail the intermittent flooding and that is not galamsey, he added.”

However, as part of efforts to maintain law and order in the farming community, the Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kofi Boakye held a meeting with the parties in the case last Thursday and ordered the chief to stop the dredging and diversion of the water course.

Chief Inspector Olivia Ewurabena Adiku, the Regional Police PRO who disclosed this to DAILY GUIDE explained that the Regional Police Commander had to halt the dredging and diversion of the river course because the chief did not seek permission before embarking on the exercise.

According to the Police PRO, the farming community was surrounded by some rivers including the Subiri and that whenever it rained, the area got flooded.

She revealed that at a point, officials of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) visited the community to assess the situation and make recommendations.

She indicated that the chief should have therefore waited for the approval from NADMO before ordering the exactor operator to dredge the river.

“The Regional Police Commander will never allow illegal mining activities in our water bodies and to maintain peace, the Regional Commander has already sent his deputy, ACP Tekyi Poku to the area to assess the situation on the ground,” she noted.

According to the PRO, it was revealed that he chief of Ayiem should have allowed the district assemblies to do the dredging instead of engaging the services of an excavator operator to do the job,” she noted.

Daily Guide gathered that for some time now, there had been a feud between the chief and Abusuapanyin regarding the payment of some money to the community by Ayiem Oil Mills operating in the community.

However, the Regional Police Commander had assured that it would continue to maintain law and order in the area so that the alleged feud would not escalate into conflict.

Source: Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi/D-Guide

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