The Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Richard Ahiagbah has described the press conference held by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) about illegal mining otherwise known as “Galamsey” as pointless.
According to him, the pointlessness of the NDC press conference held by the party’s National Communications Officer Sammy Gyamfi on Tuesday April 25 regarding illegal mining was legendary,
Sammy Gyamfi during the press conference described all the government appointees cited in the Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng report as “galamsey kingpins”
This is out of a report detailing the operations of the erstwhile Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), citing some government officials for working against the fight against illegal mining.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng praised the Water and Sanitation and Local Government and Rural Development ministers for keeping faith with the mandate of the Committee.
According to the renowned heart surgeon, all the rest including the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, abandoned the Committee at some point.
He said many of the appointees of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo were neck-deep in galamsey and engaged in the activity with reckless abandon.
He added the report underscored the fact that “illegal mining has been a free-for-all enterprise” of appointees of government.
Among the appointees cited in the report include Lord Commey, Charles Nii Teiko Tagoe, Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, former Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo, New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawyer Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, former New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmaker Joseph Albert Quarm, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, who died on July 1, 2020 as the Forestry Commission Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and his PA Charles Owusu.
He served notice that the NDC will be petitioning the Clerk of Parliament and the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) to launch investigations into the matter.
“Our nation stands united crying for justice. Anything short of a bi-partisan inquiry into this matter will be fiercely resisted.”
But in a statement issued by Mr Ahiagbah, the NPP said “on Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s document, as a party, we support the President’s prompt referral of the document to the CID, for an independent investigation. That is the democratic way, and the NDC is fully aware. The fight against galamsey is existential, but sadly the NDC has never seen it as such. The NDC sees it first as politics, an avenue to canvass for votes either by way of promising galamseyers more galamsey when they ever win power or to do what they did yesterday in the press conference to besmirch the character of the people cited in the document on the weight of simple claims.”
“The individuals especially, the Information Minister, has responded to state his innocence, but the NDC simply refused to acknowledge it or be restrained it. Instead, the NDC went full hog to display their pictures as though they have been found culpable of anything. What would it have cost the NDC to have waited for the CID to complete its investigation and render its report for public scrutiny? Perhaps, the NDC is not aware that President Akufo-Addo has referred Prof. Boateng’s report to the CID. The NPP, unlike the NDC, is committed to the fight against galamsey, and thus far has made considerable gains. But certainly, there is a lot more that needs to be done and all of us must pinch in.
“It is my humble appeal to all Ghanaians to get involved by reporting galamsey activities, learn about its dire implications for our very existence, and on that basis speak objectively against galamsey,” he said.
Mr Ahiagbah added “The NDC must learn to keep certain things above partisan politics and galamsey is one of such things. We know the NDC’s record on galamsey is criminal, to put it mildly. The fight against galamsey proceeds without fear or favor. Let’s all get involve less the partisanship that often weakens the cooperation we need to triumph. Please watch the attached NDC galamsey video, and I am sure you conclude with me that the NDC needs to get serious with the fight against galamsey. Their double standard on a matter as serious as galamsey is sickening.”
By Vincent Kubi