The Stool Father, chiefs and people of the Tekpebiawe Clan and allodial owners of the Songor Lagoon in the Ada Traditional Area say they do not recognise the three leases the government has through the Minerals Commission granted to Electrochem Ghana Limited to operate in the entire Songor Lagoon.
Raising the objection at Bornikorpe in West Ada on Tuesday December 1, 2020, the Libi Wornor (Chief Priest) of the Tekpebiawe Clan who is the sole performer of rites and rituals at the Songor Lagoon said, not even the Ada Traditional Council has the right to enter into any agreement concerning the Songor Lagoon without consulting the rightful owners, the Tekpebiawe Clan.
They therefore demand the government to terminate the agreement since it contravenes the white paper and a ‘master plan’ for the exploitation and maximisation of the natural resource to the benefit of all, with the indigenes in focus.
The three leases which gives Electrochem access to the entire Songor Lagoon according to them, foes not only violate the white paper and the master plan of the Songor Lagoon, but also take away the livelihoods of over 70 communities living along the Songor Lagoon Basin.
Recalling a past incident, the concerned Tekpebiawe Chiefs and people say, Electrochem and the Minerals Commission are using the methods Vacuum Salt used three decades ago, which the people protested against as a result of which police tragically shot and killed a pregnant indigene, Margret Kuwornu in 1985.
The angry Songor owners who were cad in red amidst protest and chanting of war songs warned the Minerals Commission and government to reverse the deal to avert the recurrent of the past tragic incident.
The then government in a quest to find a lasting solution to the incessant conflict set up commissions and committees, and later in November 1989 invited a Cuban Technical Team, ECIMACT to study salt production in Ghana and make recommendations on how to develop salt the Songor Lagoon for the benefit of all.
Recommendations were made, giving birth to a master plan on the use of the mineral resource, with the interest of the indigenes being integral part.
The Tekpebiawe Clan is therefore scandalised that apart from not engaging the clan in the deliberations, the Minerals Commission has sidelined its own spearheaded master plan and the PNDC Law 287 and granted Electrochem access to the whole Songor Lagoon and the adjoining lands stretching from Nakomkorpe through Toflokpo in the West Ada District down to Adedetsekorpe in the East Ada District, overlooking the the 70-plus communities who directly depend on salt mining for their livelihoods.
The Libi Wornor called for the abrogation of the leases for the implementation of the master plan, calling on the investor and the Minerals Commission to consult the Tekpebiawe Clan, failure of which they will restrict the investor from operating.
The dissatisfied members say they are ready to defend their bonafide property until the last person standing is down, should government and the investor ignore their caution and advice.
Some indigenes including Priestesses who registered their anher at the deal said Songor Lagoon has being their source of livelihood over five centuries now, and sent words of caution to the government as well as the investor.
Meanwhile, powerful person at the Ada Traditional Council told a section of the media on condition of anonymity that virtually all the Ada Indigenes, particularly the Tekpebiawe people except Nene Korle, who single-handedly without consulting the chiefs and youth endorsed the leases, have decided to remain silent and let their actions talk.
By: Delali Goka