An anticipated oil war, akin to the many destabilization acts, recorded in oil find areas in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, Angola, Gabon and some of the troubled spots in the Arab world looms at Ghana’s Cape Three Point and its environs, where there had been a latest discovery of oil in commercial quantity.

A group calling itself The CAPE MILITIA has emerged as the militant group posing as the official mouthpiece of mostly unemployed youth of the area who believe a large chunk of the oil proceeds should be used to develop first, the oil find area before the larger Ghanaian society.

They also claim their action will be the only way to mitigate the likely environmental hazards and other forms of casualties that inhabitants of the oil find areas are likely to encounter when the oil drilling starts.

“You realize that already the oil companies have started polluting our sea with toxic substances and the only way to demand justice is to resort to militancy because through their actions and inactions, the Kosmos group and the others are just like the usual multi-national oil companies that do not factor local inhabitants in their scheme of operation,” a group member told Today.

Today discovered from underground moves that some youth of the area mostly from Cape Three Point, Busua, Dixcove, Prusi Akataye, Princess Town, Miema, Ajemra, Axim, through to Alomatuope and other villages along the Western Coastal area deploy daily on how to hit the nerve centre of the presidency in order for their concerns to be given the requisite attention it requires.

With the benefit of how often people within oil catchment areas in other parts of the world are often short-changed in the demand for their fair share of the oil proceeds, the group, the paper’s findings established, are planning many militant destabilization acts to press home their demands.

Our writer, who went into a guise and presented himself as a Nigerian reporter to the group with an interest in their cause, was shown the thatched-hats at Busua in the Ahanta District where they store their ammunition and other military accoutrements that they plan to use in their destabilization acts.

“We cannot be taken for granted, we cannot sit here and watch our livelihood being destroyed by these self-seeking politicians, we will strike when the time arrives,” a self-styled leader of the group warned.

According to the leader (name withheld), they hold their daily meetings at Agona Nkwanta, where they engage in the training and the use of fire arms at a village near the Ghana Rubber Estates Plantation at Nkwanta.

The group leader disclosed that they have identified some pipelines under the seabed and will soon start attacking them and threatened to start targeting rig and non-oil facilities, like bridges, buildings belonging to oil companies in the area if they are not assured of equal opportunities.

“We will give a fore-warning to avoid casualties as our intent is to only bring down those symbols of oppression and injustice,” the rebel leader noted.

“My brother this is the only way we can press home our demands. Western Region has suffered from decades of neglect, pollution, and underdevelopment,” he blurred out with a choked voice.

The group leader said their concerns are corroborated by evidence of destruction of fishing nets of fisher folks of the area and the pollution of their source of drinking water since preparation for the oil find begun.

Indeed the leader also recalled how the recent dumping of drilled mud in the sea operators of the Jubilee Field has created lots of environmental problems for the people living along the coast.

A fisherman, Opanyin Mbere, was sure that his children had joined the group because they had seen and felt the atrocities meted out to them by the find of the Black Gold.

“Now when I go to sea I have no catch because all the fishes are attracted by the lights from the rigs; then we are told not to fish along the rigs, how should I feed my family, if the cause of my children can bring some hope, huh am in full support,” Opayin Mbere noted.

The first thing that strikes you on meeting members of CAPE MILITIA is the ease with which they communicate their problems and how they identify some probable solutions.

It was amazing, at least those elected to respond to questions, are articulate, well-educated, and conversant with the latest political developments at home and abroad.

A visit to Dixcove, Prusi Akataye, Princess Town, Miema, Ajemra and Axim tells that the CAPE MILITIA leaders are constantly on the move, extremely cautious, and do not personally take on phones, and do not reveal their true identities to the inhabitants.

The chiefs of Western Region have also cautioned government of the upcoming events should they fail to address the concerns.

Chiefs in the region early this month in a communiqué, told government that the region contributes substantial amount of natural resource to the national economy and indeed reminded government that the Western Region is the largest producer of cocoa, the largest contributor of timber, sole producer of rubber, second highest producer of gold with the potential to become the highest if current rate of prospecting continues, sole producer of manganese and bauxite and among the leading contributors in tourism and foreign remittances.

Despite the immense community, personal and ecological sacrifices that have been made with these contributions from the Western Region, the people and the communities in the region have not derived proportionate and commensurate benefits in terms of development.

The region is clipped with infrastructural underdevelopment, poor health facilities and services, poor road networks, high illiteracy levels, high unemployment and out-migration of the youth, high school dropout rate and a very low school enrolment.

The main issue which could spark the militias to embark on their mission is the current medium term development framework under preparation by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), which does not mention the Western Growth Corridor Development initiative (WGCDI).

“We know that the people for whom the (WGCDI) is prepared should be involved in the drafting of the bill or initiative but that is not the case, we have totally being marginalised,” the CAPE MILITIA leader lamented.

“At least for mining 10% is allocated for development within the operational areas but for Oil & Gas the current bill has no allocation for development. What the bill proposes is budgetary allocations, we cannot accept that,” the leader stressed.

The leader added that since the Northern Region has Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to take of their development needs; the same should be done for the region but not from the budget.

Nana Kobina Nketsia, Omanhene of Essikado, on countless times, has complained of the effect the oil boom has caused the region, noting that “the oil boom in the region is already hurting citizens and residents in the areas of increasing rents, prices, congestion and pressure on land use and services.

Nana Nketsia has noted that presently just over 40% of Western Region is connected to the national grid — far below the 60% national average, whilst the low capacity transformers installed at district capitals in the region have led to frequent power outages.

In Telecommunications, the region’s Teledensity is 0.3 telephones per 100 people far below the national average of 0.7 per 100 people.

SPECIAL REPORT: SAMUEL KOFI AMPAH