About 500 acres of maize and plantain farmlands have been destroyed at Abedesembi, Besoro, Bahankra and other communities in the Sekyere Kumawu District in Ashanti Region by personnel of X2 Security Services, a private security company.
The security company is said to have been contracted by Miro Forestry and Timber Products Limited to execute the destruction, affecting over 50 farmers at Abedesembi in the Bosoro Electoral Area.
The aggrieved farmers have appealed to the government, through Mr. Samuel Addai Agyekum, the District Chief Executive (DCE), and Barima Tweneboa Kodua, Omanhene of Kumawu, to intervene and stop the destruction.
Nana Basoah Antwi II, Chief of Abedesembi, a victim of the destruction, said that no prior notice was served on them to vacate the land they had farmed on for decades.
He said he was informed that X2 Security, forestry guards and Rapid Responds Squad from the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, had been contracted by Miro Forestry and Timber Products Company Limited for the exercise without notifying the farmers occupying the land.
Some of the affected farms destroyed by personnel of X2 Security services
Miro Forestry and Timber claims to have acquired the land from the Forestry Commission for tree planting backed by valid documents, hence, the move to take possession by a court order.
Sulemana Issaka, another victim, explained that, the area was allocated to them for the cultivation of plantain and tree planting for five years.
DCE Addai Agyekum confirmed the destruction of the farmlands and explained that the District Security Council (DISEC), in collaboration with Barima Tweneboa Kodua, are to meet the management of Miro Forestry on August 23, 2023, to find a lasting solution to the issue as part of efforts at reducing the tension between the affected farmers and Miro Forestry and the security forces.
The DISEC has also recommended that, the company and Forestry Commission halt the enforcement of the eviction order to enable the DISEC engage nananom (Chiefs), the farmers, and the other stakeholders to resolve the matter peacefully.
According to the DCE, Barima Tweneboa Kodua had tasked Miro Forestry and Timber Products Limited to provide its documents regarding the acquisition and order from the court that gave them permission to destroy the over 500 acres of plantain farms.
The DISEC has also directed the affected farmers to report to the police for the necessary action, and pleaded with them to exercise restraint while the District Security Council finds a lasting solution to the problem.
He also disclosed that, the Regional and Sekyere Kumawu District Managers of the Forestry Commission would meet the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) for further interrogation and ascertain the true owners of the land in question.
Samuel Addai Agyekum appealed to Miro Forestry to allow the farmers to continue to farm on the land until an amicable solution was found to the problem, while the police continue with investigations to unravel the facts of the matter.
The DISEC has strongly recommended the immediate transfer of both the Kumawu District Managers of the Forestry Commission and the Game and Wildlife Division in their own interest and security, taking into account the level of anger among the farmers and the community members.
An official of the company was tight lipped over the issue, claiming it was before the DISEC and the Omanhene and would not comment.