The Deputy Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for the Effutu Constituency in the Central Region has refuted allegations suggesting the Minerals Commission has leased the forest reserve in the Effutu Constituency, long-earmarked for deer-hunting during the Aboakyire festival, for lithium mining.
Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin dismissed the claim of some residents who marched on Tuesday, 5 December 2023 in protest to the alleged lease, labeling it as baseless and untrue.
Addressing the press in Parliament on the same day, Mr Afenyo-Markin stated, "There is no such thing for a lease from the Mineral Commission for the mining of lithium in the forest reserve."
He went on to clarify that the Minerals Commission had, in fact, issued a statement two years ago stating that they had not received any application, let alone approved, for a company to mine lithium in the sacred forest where deer hunting takes place during the Aboakyire Festival.
Responding to accusations that government officials, including his office, have allowed the sale of the sacred forest reserve for lithium mining, Mr Afenyo-Markin said it was total falsehood.
He urged the NDC elements in the area to shift their focus from spreading misinformation and instead address the real challenges facing the people.
The protesters who marched on Tuesday wielding placards with messages such as "Conservation over exploitation," "Opana, why?" and "Protect our heritage," among others.
They issued a stern warning, expressing their intent to halt the mining company's operations.
They fear that the exploration could disrupt a reserve that has been a crucial part of their heritage for numerous years.