NPP PC clarifies: I asked small scale miners to rebel against fake soldiers, police

NPP PC clarifies: I asked small scale miners to rebel against fake soldiers, police

NPP PC clarifies: I asked small scale miners to rebel against fake soldiers, police

The NPP Parliamentary Candidate for the Amenfi East constituency has clarified what he meant by “when the soldiers fight you, fight back” statement which has gone viral.

According to Mr Ernest Frimpong, he has been taken out of context following a lacuna contained in his statement which gave a twist to what he intended and has rendered an apology for same.

It would be recalled that a video in which Mr Frimpong was captured speaking to some people believed to be miners has gone viral and generated a huge controversy.

Speaking in the local Twi dialect to the small-scale miners, as captured, Mr Ernest Frimpong was heard advising them to resist “soldiers, police and national security operatives” at their sites. However, Mr Frimpong has given some further clarification following the huge public uproar and bashing the purported statement has received since the video went viral.

Purpose of the gathering.
Mr Frimpong has explained that the purpose of the engagement with the miners was meant to educate them on the rules and regulations governing small-scale mining activities in the country. He added;

“The Western Regional Minister did not support illegal mining activities in any form. Throughout the engagement, he emphasized the importance of responsible mining practices.

He warned against mining in prohibited areas such as forest reserves, rivers, and other people’s concessions. He urged miners to comply with the legal framework by obtaining the necessary permits and concessions”.
Concerns by the miners.

According to the PC, the miners were very much concerned about the spate of harassments by some individuals who frequently visited their sites to allegedly extort money.

Confirming this, he said, there have been reported cases of extortion by some unscrupulous individuals who parade themselves as soldiers, police and national security operatives who have been harassing the miners.

These dodgy individuals, he explained, recently visited the sites of a registered small-scale miners and pretended to be national security operatives and extorted huge sum of money from them.

“Upon further investigations, it turned out that these individuals hired two Landcruiser vehicles and dressed in apparels that suggested that some of them were soldiers and policemen.

But we later noticed that they were not soldiers, police or national security operatives who have been conducting any sanctioned operations but they were there just to harass, intimidate and extort money”. He said.

PC’s reaction to the miners’ concern Reacting to the disturbing allegations, Mr Frimpong advised the miners never to give in to such unscrupulous individuals but fiercely resist them and fight back with all their (miners) might when the imposters visit.

However, his reaction has received a huge public uproar as the edited version of the video which is in circulation seems to suggest that he was referring to personnel of the state security.

Further clarification
Giving better and further clarification to the entire scenario, Mr Frimpong indicated that he has been taken out of context due to communication gap.

PC Frimpong explained that “in the course of our engagement, the miners complained bitterly about the growing threats of the aforesaid individuals who have been terrorising them on site.

So, my reaction as captured in the edited video was a direct response to the concern of the miners which specifically had to do with the criminal gangs who intentionally impersonate as security personnel”.

He added that his caution to the miners to be bold and fight back those corrupt “police and soldiers” was targeted at those certain unscrupulous individuals who pretend to be security operatives.

He stated that “If you listened to the full video which is about two hours, you will notice that I even encouraged the miners to willingly support the police and the soldiers when they come around.

And I said so because the presence of the police will always protect the miners themselves from criminal individuals who have been robbing them of their sweat.

I want to emphasise and put on record that my call on the small-scale miners to fight back the soldiers and the police was never an attempt to instigate violence against the state security services”.

He added that his caution was towards those illegal operatives who have been allegedly extorting money from the miners under false pretense but he did not mean to encourage the miners to attack state security personnel.

“In fact, these miners reported activities of these well-known dodgy and criminal gangs to us by way of sharing their frustrations that’s why I didn’t take the pain to elaborate on that because my audiences already understood the context”. He emphasised.

“I believe that maybe the communication went wrong as I got carried away by the charged political atmosphere and the euphoria that greeted the engagement.

I take full responsibility for the communication gap and accept the blame for any inconveniences the said gap might have occasioned”. He clarified.

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