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Neo
15th March 2011, 04:46 AM
About twelve macho men from Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi stationed around Agege Junction, a small-scale gold mining concession at Nsuaem near Tarkwa in the Western Region, are allegedly brutalizing inhabitants and forcibly collecting gold-bearing stones from "galamsey" operators in the area.

Four men alleged to have been wounded in the head and other parts of the body by the macho-men, after seizing loads of gold-bearing stones they were bringing to Nsuaem town, are said to be on admission at Dixcove and Effia Nkwanta hospitals.

The Nsuem chief's palace was razed down in the melee, Paul Evans Aidoo, Western regional minister, confirmed the incident.

He said the chief of Nsuaem, Nana Eduku Adda, had some mining concession on the outskirts of the town and that a group of illegal miners in the town had been operating on it despite several warnings by the chief.

The macho men, who were wielding cutlasses, knives and other offensive weapons, were said to have been brought to the area last year by Nana Anyi Amoapong Ntebraku, Gyasehene of Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region and a royal of the Nsuaem Stool, to guard his licensed small-scale gold concession.

Daily Guide’s in-depth investigation at Nsuaem and its environs indicated that Nana Ntebraku, who is also the nephew of Nana Eduku Adda IV, Chief of Nsuaem, brought the macho men to the area last year to prevent galamsey operators from operating on his legally-acquired small-scale gold concession.

It was gathered that Nana Ntebraku entered into some agreement with the two macho men he originally brought to his concession, but later, ten other macho men joined them.

Their job was to ensure that nobody encroached on Nana Ntebraku's concession and those engaged to work there never stole the gold-bearing rocks or any of the equipment used in their operations.

Somewhere last year, the workers realized that the macho men made them work very hard and sometimes brutalized them, while Nana Ntrebaku also did not give the right share of the gold due them, compelling them to abandon the job.

Daily Guide gathered that Nana Ntrebaku, having realized that the macho men were too hard on his workers, tried to lay off the macho men as well.

But the macho, having seen and touched gold, said the agreement was not over and swore never to leave the concession unless Nana Ntrebraku paid them GH¢600,000 (¢6billion), which Nana Ntrebraku refused to pay.

Most of the employees of Nana Ntrebraku then left Nsuaem for good but others joined some galamsey operators, while the hired macho men became entirely stranded because their employer, Nana Ntrebraku, was not able to pay them as people were no longer working on his concession.

The macho men therefore went berserk on Thursday, 3rd March 2011 in the bush at Agege Junction near Nsuaem, where they stopped, seized and brutalized some galamsey operators who had gone to toil for some gold-bearing rocks and were sending them to a crushing machine in Nsuaem town.

According to three galamsey operators who refused to mention their names, "We handed ours over to the macho men peacefully and ran away, but others didn't want to consider the toil for days and received good beating and cutlass slashes before abandoning their loads."

It was also learnt that the macho men seized head-loads of cassava and plantain from some farmers when they arrived at Agege Junction that Thursday.

But for the timely intervention of some of the elders of the town, there would have been a bloody clash because the galamsey operators and a section of the youth of Nsuaem allegedly mobilized guns and cutlasses to face the macho men in the bush.

On the dawn of Friday, 3rd March 2011 at about 1:30 am, some unknown persons set the entire household of Nana Ntebraku on fire at Nsuaem, razing it down before firemen reached the place.

When contacted on phone, Nana Ntebraku said somebody called to tell him that his entire home had been burnt down, adding, "For some time now, I have been a target of some people including my own royal family members of Nsuaem, but God is always on my side."

He said he would come out boldly with certain details pertaining to his small-scale gold concession, the alleged macho men and their activities. He added that he was traumatized because his enemies had deliberately burnt down his home.



Source: D-G