The calm and serene working atmosphere at Kablevu, a salt farming and fishing community near Sege in the Ada West District of the Greater Accra Region was broken last Tuesday when three military officers fully armed to the teeth and said to be patrolling portions of the salt concession owned by Electrochem Ghana Limited allegedly assaulted one Karimu Teye, and indigene of the area virtually beating him to pulp for refusing to “obey orders” to stop work on his private pan. Prior to Tuesday’s attack, one Hon. Ebenezer Adjaotto, Local Assembly Member and Secretary of the Ada Songor Lagoon Association (ASLA) was also subjected to severe beatings at Toflokpo on Monday March 11, by some local thugs said to be private security officers for the salt company, for being allegedly loud and outspoken on issues some of the indigenes have with the company. It is not immediately clear what triggered Tuesday’s assault but The Insight gathered that Karimu Teye was working in one of his elder brother’s salt pans in their 90-acre salt farming concession when the military officers came around on Tuesday afternoon around 1.30 pm and ordered him to stop work in his pan and fold up the tarpaulin and leave. He is said to have questioned the military officers why he should leave and in the ensuing argument, the leader of the military team went and brought a knife punching holes in his pan laid with tarpaulin that traps the salt water destroying it in the process. After that, Karimu Teye is also said to have received some slaps resulting in a bloody confrontation. Narrating the brother’s ordeal in the hands of the military officers, Abraham Ahumah Karimu, Public Relations Officer and Organiser of Ada Songor Lagoon Association said his younger brother in an attempt to prevent further slaps from the leader of the military team bruised the neck with a small knife he was screeching legions on his tarpaulin pan triggering deeper beatings resulting in blood stains around the pan and puffy and swollen face in the ensuing melee. Abraham Ahumah said the military officers also poured petrol on his brother in an attempt to burn him and erase any trace of their unlawful act but for the presence of some of the community members who called for police intervention following which police medical form was issued to the military officer who sustained neck wound and the salt farmer, Karimu Teye who had swollen face with bruises and open wounds all over his body as a result of the punches and beatings in the hands of the officers. He told this paper that salt that was being farmed including tampolene pans amounting to about GHC150, 000 was destroyed, and water pumping and other valuable equipment costing over GHC300, 000 also taken away. A visibly angry Abraham Ahumah Karimu told this paper that he had a verbal assurance (agreement) from Electrochem Boss, Dr. Daniel MCKorley who after being notified of the substantial investment he (Abraham) has made vowed never to touch his pan and wondered why the assault on his brother in one of his over 40 pans. “Dr. Daniel MCKorley has an oral agreement with me that he would never touch my pan and when he made it the former regional police Commander Mr. Afrieyie was present when he said he would never touch my pans because of the huge investments I’ve made. Why now?” He quizzed. He said the 90-acre concession he works on is an inheritance and as such not prepared to give it away without commensurate compensation. The assault comes in the wake of similar such incidents which resulted in the death of one Agomeda in November 2023, leading to the setting up of a parliamentary committee over the matter. Electrochem has, however, not commented on the issue yet having described some of the locals as trouble-makers bent on destroying an enviable indigenous project intended to bring wealth to the area and Ghana as a whole. Electrochem was given a 15-year salt concession contract over a 41,000-acre land by the government to win salt within the Ada Songor Lagoon enclave. Ever since the deal which affects over 45 communities in the Songor Lagoon enclave was brokered, some indigenes and community members have been having running battles with the company accusing it of operating beyond its concessionary area and attempting to deprive them of their livelihoods. Meanwhile, Karimu Teye who was brutally assaulted by the military officers has been put in police remand at the Sege District Police headquarters by a Sege District Court awaiting the court hearing on March 25, 2024. It was learnt that the court decided to put him on remand for fear that his release could trigger reprisal attacks and mayhem at Kablevu and nearby communities such as Bonikope, Toflokpo, Luhor among others.