Sanitation

Mfante killing: Mankranso Forestry Commission office remains shut in fear of reprisal attacks

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Three days after two brothers were allegedly shot and killed by a Forestry Commission taskforce at a community mining site in Mfante, the divisional office of the Commission at Mankranso remains shut.

The youth of Pokukrom in the Ahafo Ano South-East District and the family of the two murdered brothers have issued a four-day ultimatum, threatening retaliation if justice is not served.

A saddened mother and a sister are left in excruciating pain.

Wails continue to emanate from the home of Abdul Samed Razak, 35, and Hashmil Usman, 25, after the two were allegedly shot dead by a security taskforce of the Forestry Commission at a mining site.

You’ve killed a human being like animal,” the sister of the deceased said while wailing.

The two were protecting a mining site at Mfante, a suburb in the Ahafo Ano North municipality, when the security taskforce besieged them in a swoop.

Sleeping Shack for deceased security men
“The officers from Forestry Commission drew a line on the ground that we shouldn’t cross it. But one of the deceased, Razak, did not heed and went ahead to cross it. That’s when they started shooting him. They shot him several times but he survived. So they surrounded him and hit his neck with the butt stock of their gun,” Andy, a witness, recounted.

He continued that: “the other deceased person was wielding a machete when the officer came from behind and shot him through his skull”.

In 2021, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource commissioned a community mining scheme to be operated by the Ensuro Group of Companies.

At this junction leading to the licensed mining site is another route heading to the site of the shooting incident.

Blood stains on stick
The miners however claim both sites are under the community mining scheme.

But there are fears of a possible return of the taskforce to comb the community.

“The shot in the air severally until they reached the next town. Many of us fled the town on the day. We are scared they might come back,” Andy added.

Back at Pokukrom, there is simmering tension as the families of the deceased and the youth threaten to avenge the killing.

“After burying them, we demand Justice within 4 days. If it doesn’t happen soon, we will retaliate even if it would take us 20 years,” brother of the deceased shouted.

Samed, who is 35 years old, left behind a wife and four children.

“If indeed the laws are working, it must work for us too. Else Forestry Commission offices will not operate in this constituency,” one of the youth threatened.

The news team visited the Mankranso Division of the Forestry Commission.

Many offices of the Division were under lock and key with few officers around following the threats.

The team chanced on an officer who was locking up the checkpoint at the divisional office, who said he was scared the miners could attack anytime.

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Police Command is probing circumstances leading to gun attack and consequent death of the two.

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