Don’t bring security forces – Ada salt miners warn Prez Akufo-Addo



Residents of Ada have warned President Nana Akufo-Addo against deploying security personnel to protect the operations of Electrochem Ghana Limited which has running battles with communities around the Songhor Lagoon over a lease that denies the communities access to the lagoon.

The enraged residents express concern that bringing boots to the ground could escalate an already dangerous situation in the vicinity, potentially turning it into a war zone.

The residents, mostly from the Songhor Lagoon Basin communities, say they have tolerated enough of the president’s silence towards the atrocities being meted out to them by businessman, Daniel McKorley, who owns Electrochem Ghana Limited, a salt mining company.

Addressing a press conference in Ada on Thursday, the Deputy Secretary of the Ada Songhor Lagoon Association (ASLA), Ebenezer Adjaottor, says the communities have the ability to resist any initiative that would aggravate the injustice they are currently experiencing.

“The Paramount Chief of Ada and the Ada Traditional Council (ATC) members requested President Akufo Addo to send the security forces to come and drive us away from our towns and villages around the Songhor Lagoon.

“The Paramount Chief [Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III] and The Ada Traditional Council have labelled us as ‘galamseyers’ who need to be driven away from our own lands – from Sege Nakomkope to Elavanyo [where they cannot mine salt anymore] – to make way for the politically connected and known land grabber, Daniel McKorley, to establish his monopoly on sea salt production around the Songhor Lagoon,” the aggrieved salt miners alleged.

Mr. Adjaottor stated that a petition signed by more than 5,000 people sent to President in May 2023 is weightier than the visit of only 15 chiefs to the Jubilee House to make the demand which would deny thousands of people their livelihoods.

“The opinions and personal interests of these 15 uninformed chiefs cannot carry more weight than the voices of 5,000 petitioners representing over 35,000 citizens around the Songhor Lagoon. Therefore, it is important for the voices of the vast majority of the people to be heard rather than the moaning and whining of a few greedy chiefs who have lost touch with their own people,” he explained.

What did Nene Akuaku say?

The Paramount Chief of Ada, Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III, and his entourage listening to the chief during their visit.


The residents’ anger comes on the heels of a recent visit the ATC made to the Presidency, where Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III, the Paramount Chief of the Ada Traditional Area, appealed to the government to allocate state security to the Songhor Salt Project, currently under lease by Electrochem Ghana Limited.

The move, Paramount Chief says, would prevent the operations of “illegal salt miners” and safeguard the integrity of the Ada Songhor Salt Project.

“The harm this illegal salt mining activity poses to the Songhor Lagoon is far-reaching. Creating the enabling environment for the operations is critical if the current progress is to be sustained.

“Your excellency, help us have the state security agencies act swiftly to curb and bring to order those in the Ada Traditional Area who have taken the law into their own hands and have total disregard for the law,” he pleaded.

In response to the request, President Akufo-Addo assured the chiefs that the situation would be handled so that “miscreants, and people who do not have the welfare of the community at heart, but only their individual pockets, are brought to book and disciplined.”


Deputy Secretary of the Ada Songhor Lagoon Association (ASLA), Ebenezer Adjaottor addressing a press conference Thursday.

However, at the press conference attended by traders within the salt production value chain, the ASLA Deputy Secretary wondered why the ATC would describe artisanal salt miners as illegal miners.

“This statement by Nene Ada [Paramount Chief] is most unfortunate. How can an activity, which we and our ancestors have been engaged in for the past 400 years, an activity which supplies about 90% of the salt consumed in Ghana, an activity which, for so many years has been the main source of salt exports to Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali suddenly becomes an illegal activity and the Paramount Chief of Ada of all people, is calling on the government of Nana Akufo Addo to engage the security services to deal with us,” Mr. Adjaottor laments.

He urged the president not to fall for the inaccurate assertion by the chief but rather seek to know the realities on the ground himself.

He charged the president to act swiftly on the petition ASLA presented to him a month ago.

“Mr. President, how can you decide to be impressed by naked lies fed to you by the Paramount Chief and his entourage? We presented a petition to you which was endorsed by 5000 people on of May 4, 2023; up to now, we have not heard from you.”

The miners allege that the president has failed to listen to them because of his affiliation with the investor.

“You decided to lease the land on which we earn our living to your bosom friend and supporter McDan, contrary to the provisions of PNDC Law 287 and the Master Plan for Salt Development in Ghana,” they alleged.

The blueprint for salt production in Ghana—Master Plan for Salt Development in Ghana— formulated in 1991 stipulates that the Songhor Lagoon cannot be monopolised.

“In order to avoid what could give cause for conflict which could again seriously hamper salt production, it is necessary to establish control for the interrelationship in the lagoon usage and the pacific coexistence of the companies and the Ada people. None of the interested parties alone can assume management of such a complex matter.”

The master plan was developed at the time there were multiple companies operating in the salt industry in Ada and it was hoped that if its recommendations are well implemented, there will be no chaos.

A turf war

There has been a turf war between the communities around the Songhor Lagoon and Electrochem Ghana Limited since the government granted the lease to the company in 2020.

While the company insists it has the absolute right to the Songhor Lagoon, the communities say the water body and its environs have been theirs for centuries.

The salt miners say they are Ghanaians and deserve to have their livelihood to fend for their families and be protected from persecution and brutalities.

A few of the clashes have resulted in a blood bath. 

“As we stand here today, one of our compatriots, Sampson Agbove of Salom, still has several police bullets in him causing severe health problems for him all the time.

“There are 50 of our fellow Adaali-abime and fellow citizens who are being persecuted and prosecuted by the authorities for just being on their own land: some of them were in court [Thursday].”

According to them, they are peaceful people but the President must not mistake their humility to be their weakness.

“You have already unleashed the security forces to brutalise us and you promised the chiefs that you will do so again. We were not deterred yesterday; we are not deterred today, and we will not be deterred tomorrow.

“We shall fight through and through with all the legal means available to us, and with the help of God, the same God that you wish to build a cathedral for together with our ancestors, and our deities, we shall win, and preserve our livelihood and our human rights as Ghanaian citizens,” they said of their situation.


The government in November 2020 granted a 41,000-acre lease to EGL to mine salt in the area.

According to EGL’s work plan, its primary objective is to generate an annual production of more than one million metric tons of salt, primarily for exportation.

Their ultimate goal is to establish the Songhor salt mine as the largest in Africa. However, the residents have resisted the move, which they insist has snatched their livelihoods.



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