President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that Akonta Mining, a company owned by Bernard Antwi Boasiako, alias Chairman Wontumi; is not engaged in illegal mining anywhere in the country.
Calls for the arrest of Wontuni, who is the Ashanti Regional chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), started last year after the company he owns was reported to have engaged in illegal mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.
President Akufo-Addo was at a gathering on January 4, 2023 where the call for Wontumi’s arrest (over Akonta Mining operations) was reiterated by Ken Ashigbey, who happens to be chairman of the Media Coalition against Galamsey.
The president in delivering his remarks responded thus: “Let me respond briefly to the chairperson on the issue of illegal mining. I want to assure him and all of you that Akonta Mining is not engaged in any illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak.
“Further, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has through the agency of the Forestry Commission, with the assistance of the military, made the effort to cordon off all 294 sites of forest reserves in the country and rid them of illegal mining as we speak.”
In October last year, Akonta Mining was accused of operating from the Forest Reserve after they had a month prior clashed with some locals in the town of Samreboi in the Western North Region.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources ordered a halt to their operations in the forest but clarified that they had a valid mining license in areas outside of the natural habitat.
There was also a report that security operatives had raided one of the operational sites of the comoany in the forest reserve, burning machines and structures.