The National Democratic Congress (NDC) appears to be feeding on the report by former Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister KwabenaFrimpong-Boateng, with its members firing all cylinders and demanding various probes to allegations contained therein.
The report, which accuses some government officials of misconduct in the fight against illegal mining activities popularly known as galamseyin the country, has been described by the Office of the President as a compilation of personal grievances.
But it seems it has provided arsenals for the main opposition party, with its members scoring cheap political points against President Akufo-Addo with it.
It all started with South Dayi MP Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, who mocked the people identified in the report and afterwards petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to look into the matter.
His solicitor, NiiKpakpo Samoa Addo, filed the petition with CHRAJ on Tuesday, April 25, asking for a public hearing.
After the presentation, Samoa Addo told the press that the petition was received directly by the Commissioner of CHRAJ.
According to him, the NDC MP feels that because all Ghanaians rely on the environment for survival, a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is a fundamental human right and essential to the full enjoyment of a wide range of other human rights, including the right to life and dignity.
“It is the prayer our client that your office will give this petition the necessary attention it deserves, and investigate these claims to ascertain their truth or otherwise, and take all the appropriate steps to ensure that the persons named herein, if culpable, are dealt with in accordance with law,” the petition indicates.
Just as the dust on the petition was about to settle, the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, hurriedly organized a press conference to accuse the individuals named in the report of being “galamsey kingpins.”
He told media in Accra on Tuesday, April 25, that many of President Nana Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo’s appointees were neck-deep in galamsey and indulged in the practice with wanton recklessness.
He stated that the report highlighted the reality that “illegal mining has been a free-for-all enterprise” of government appointees.
Sammy Gyamfi said the nephew of the President, Gabby AsareOtchere-Darko, for instance, acted with impunity and this must be called out and condemned by all.
“Shame to all the media personalities who are shamelessly defending the action of Gabby Otchere-Darko.”
He stated that the NDC would petition the Speaker of Parliament and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to investigate the incident.
“Our nation stands united crying for justice. Anything short of a bi-partisan inquiry into this matter will be fiercely resisted,” Sammy Gyamfi asserted.
By Ernest Kofi Adu