The Ghana Gas Company has defied a restraining order by the Sekondi High Court in the Western region barring it from carrying on with any activity on the land on which they operate. Last week, the court slapped an interlocutory order giving Ghana Gas 14 days to regularize their occupation of the land. The application for injunction was filed by Omanhene of the Eastern Nzema Traditional Area, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III. He told Joy News that even before the 14 days injunction expires, the company has been working on the project site. He claimed the company has failed to pay “a penny” to the traditional area and therefore thinks it is in the best interest of the people of Nzema for the gas “construction to be delayed”. He told Joy News’ correspondent Kwaku Owusu Peprah “we have not been respected for being a good host”. He said even though they have written to the Ghana Gas Company through their lawyers, nothing positive has come up and therefore feel they have been taken advantage of. “I feel very sad that we are at this point,” he admitted, adding Ghanaians, including his subjects, are also enduring the brunt of the energy crisis.
The leadership of three communities where the Gas plant is located on Tuesday threw their weight behind Awulae Panyinle Amihere, Omanhene of Eastern Nzema for placing a court injunction on the construction of the plant.
The plant is situated at Atuabo in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.
The leaders said the management of the company is taking them for a ride by failing to come to proper negotiations terms on the acreage of land acquired for the project.
Spokespersons Awonyi Mensah Robert, Tufuhene of Anokye and Nana Bonsah 111, Obaahema of Atuabo said at news conference that since Dr George Sipa Yankey, Chief Executive of the Gas Company visited the traditional council with bottles of Schnapps to ask for land two years ago; little had been done and achieved in terms of negotiations and documentation on the many acreage of land lease out for the project.
The Tufuhene said described the action of the company as disgusting and lack of respect for the people and leadership of the three communities and the traditional council as a whole.
He said many attempts by the traditional authority to get the leadership of the company into negotiations had failed adding, “We have called about four to five meetings and the management of Ghana Gas had failed to attend any.”
The community leadership also wants to know from the management of the company future development plans, issues of environmental safety, and where to turn to in case of emergency.
Awonyi Robert complained that the company had sidelined the indigenes the area of employment adding that even drivers are employed from out of the communities.
The Atuabo gas project when completed could solve half of Ghana’s energy crisis since the Aboadze Thermal Plant would feed on it for additional power generation.