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Return of Agyapa deal: ‘I blame Akans for looking on unconcerned’ – Barker-Vormawor

Activist and lawyer, Oliver Barker-Vormawor has tasked Akans to take a front row interest in rejecting the Agyapa Royalties deal that government is planning to resubmit to Parliament.

He insists that given that majority of Ghana’s gold and mineral resources are located within the predominantly Akan areas of the country, it was important that the resistance to the deal comes from there.

The FixTheCountry convenor also pointed out how political expediency had crippled the urgent need for Ashantis to resist the looting of a resource that defines who they are.

“In all of this, I blame Akans. Ghana’s gold and mineral resources are predominantly in the Ashanti Region, but someone comes from Kyebi and elsewhere to say that I have decided with my people that all the mineral resources of the country will be put under a new company.

“(The arrangement) shows Ghana will be given a sum of USD500 million, for our resources from now till the end of the world. Those behind the deal remains unknown, why not create the company in Ghana, they refuse,” he said on TV XYZ over the weekend.

According to him, a sign that Ghana was being shortchanged was that despite a USD500 million sum quoted as benefit to Ghana, the country in 2021 raked in 400 million dollars in royalties, just 100 million shy of the amount the deal promises.

“They claim we will have 500 million dollars but Ghana generated 400 million (by way of royalties) in 2021 alone, a year after the deal was rejected. This was even against global gold prices which sometimes could result in higher gains,” he stressed.

Barker-Vormawor pointed to the fact that by conservative estimates, Ghana could between 2020 and 2023, rake in USD1.2 billion, “but someone wants to take all that resource and give us just 500 million dollars.

“So that Akans who have pride in your king as ‘descendant of he who sits on gold’ watch on as his gold is extracted but Akans are quiet because ‘it is our government in power,’ that is what I do not understand.

“If Akans stand up, the country can be liberated,” he stressed opining further that creating the Agyapa holding company outside the country was to insulate it from governmental scrutiny going forward.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta last week reiterated that government will be resubmitting the Agyapa Royalties deal to Parliament for consideration, two years after it was abandoned following opposition by the Minority and Civil Society groups.

Already, there is a ground swell of opposition from the same quarters with the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee warning that the revised deal will not be entertained.

The most recent to speak against it is John Dramani Mahama, the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer who said via a social media post: “We remain opposed to the Agyapa deal. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) will oppose it vigorously,” Mahama captioned a post on his Facebook page.

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