About 13 residents of Madegbe, a suburb of Ada near the Songor lagoon, have suffered gunshot wounds by unknown assailants.
The 13 who were sent to the Sege Polyclinic were later transferred to the Ada East Hospital for treatment, due to the nature of their injuries.
The victims who are aged between 26 and 30 years, sustained gunshots wounds on their thighs, ankles ,hands and parts of their head with the oldest victim being a 60-year- old .
According to information available to The Herald, the incident occurred in the early hours of Friday February 5, 2020, when a purported taskforce from the Ada District Assembly invaded the homes of residents to effect the arrest of one of the youth, who is accused of instigating protests against a mining project.
Narrating the incident , one of the victims , Sampson Agbovie, said a police patrol team together with a taskforce from the Ada District Assembly invaded the homes of some youth at communities he named as Madegbe, Salom and Toflokpo which all around the Songor lagoon to arrest them.
These youths, he added resisted the arrest only for them to hear gunshots.
In view of the danger , he noted that the people started running for their lives and in the process some were hits and others falling off and getting injured .
" The police patrol team and the task force came into our homes trying to arrest us but I resisted and they started shooting, so people started running away. Those who fled were shot from a distance while some were hit by stray bullet so I fell and the people in the community have to bring me to the hospital for treatment" , he recalled.
This gunshots development, comes in the wake of a tussle over of the Songor salt mining project .
While some of the chiefs and indigenes are resisting the takeover of the lagoon for a salt mining project by a private company by going on a protest and the holding of press conferences, other natives too are in full support, claiming the project is the best thing to happen to the people of Ada.
Parliament onNovember 4, 2020, represented by the Ministry of Lands and Natural resources in a mining lease agreement granted an area of 39,126.66 acres of land comprising Ada Songor, Ada Songor B and Ada Songor C to ElectroChemGh. Ltd to extract mineral resource in the area for 15 years pursuant to article 268(1) of the constitution and the minerals and mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) .
Ever since this lease was granted, the people of Ada appear divided, resulting in two demonstrations over the past two weeks during which one group was in favour of the project, and the other against it.
The Herald learnt that a similar tussle among the people happened in the 1980s, when parcels of land were given to private investors for the mining of salt in the area which led to the death of a pregnant woman.
The Libi Wornor, Numo Amate Apedo Ayornu, popularly known as the salt priest, appealed to the government to review the lease agreement between the Company and engage in proper consultations to help bring a lasting solution to the problem .
His argument is that most people in the area, will lose their main source of livelihood if the project takes off, without addressing their concerns.
The Chief of Toflokpo, Nene Mayiru, who confirmed the incident, said that all the 13 people have been discharged, except two, who have been referred to a higher medical facility due to the severity of their injuries.
Meanwhile, the chief has since reported the incident to the Ada police command and is making frantic effort to seek bail for several others who were arrested by the District Assembly task force.