Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has said that a recent report by the Foundation for Security & Development in Africa (FOSDA) that ranked the region as the most violent does not reflect the true situation on the ground.
The Minister, who was speaking at a press briefing in Accra, said the regional security council under his administration has made significant gains since he took office.
“The major security challenges we inherited, we’ve been able to solve them. If you take Asante Akyem Agogo, the cattle herdsmen menace has been there for decades and even the late former president Rawlings established operation calm life in 1992 to curb that menace. When I took over in 2017, I went to Agogo, the capital of Asante Akyem North and had a meeting with the chiefs and people in a church and told them we will nip that menace in the bud. Now everybody can attest to the fact that that menace has been brought down to the barest minimum.”
Simon Osei-Mensah also commended the regional security council for restoring calm to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology during recent clashes between students of the University and Unity halls.
The Minister also called for stringent punitive measures for offenders of Illegal mining which has become a protracted issue within the Ashanti Region.
Reports suggest that the activity otherwise known as ‘galamsey’ has returned and is polluting water sources in the Ashanti Region.
“Galamsey is like fighting the black market. You fight them here, they pop up elsewhere. We are doing our best. Most of the people are being prosecuted, especially in the Obuasi areas. Sometimes the fines are too low that they are not punitive enough, and these are the discussions we may have to have with the judiciary, because if you fine a galamsey operator GH¢5,000 it’s not enough. They just pay and go back to the site.”
Simon Osei-Mensah however refused to comment on the recent ransacking of the offices of the flagbearer of the United Progressive Party, Akwasi Odike when quizzed.