The District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Birim North District of the Eastern Region has retracted and apologised to Newmont Golden Ridge Limited for "undesirable comments" he made against the company.
Remond Nana Damptey said he was misguided in “throwing out wild allegation against” the company when some farmers at New Abirem, who were demonstrating against Newmont, clashed with some security personnel resulting in some farmers sustaining injuries.
On October 16, 2018, what was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration by some aggrieved farmers against Newmont resulted to some farmers sustaining minor injuries in the process, as the police tried to control the angry crowd.
Not happy with the action by the police, the DCE on a radio interview accused Newmont of influencing the action by the police on the demonstrators.
He, therefore, urged Newmont to have more consultation with the farmers and the affected community members to know their plight.
But, in a statement, Mr Damptey has admitted to having erred after failing to compose himself as a leader in the face of provocation, and threw wild allegations against Newmont.
“Indeed, I was supposed to have held my composure as a leader in the face of such extreme provocation, which I must admit I erred by throwing out wild allegation against such a reputable company like Newmont”.
“Upon a deeper reflection on my statement, I have come to realise that it was a misinformation and misleading comments which should not be taken by the public as the true picture or nature of Newmont,” the statement added.
According to the DCE, Newmont has over the years operated in an atmosphere of peace and has been performing its social responsibilities to the communities thereby improving the infrastructural gap in the district especially 10 affected communities.
He disclosed that Newmont continues to strictly comply with good environmental practices which among others have earned the company corporate excellence award in the Ghana club 100 scheme for two successive years, that is 2016 and 2017.
“With this release, I wish to assure all and sundry of my unreserved commitment to sustain and even grow the existing cordial relationships between the Birim North District Assembly and Newmont, in our resolve to better the lives of the people.
“To this end, I hereby render my unqualified apology first to the nation, Newmont Golden Ridge Limited and the community and wish to state also that any damage my comments have caused is highly regretted,” he said.
He promised to exercise extreme care in the future to avoid running down a company such as Newmont, of its hard-won international reputation.
Below is the DCE’s letter: