Report by Kumatey Gorden
He made the statement in a news conference held on Wednesday, 26th April, 2023 and copied to our news desk.
Read below his full statement.
THE FRIMPONG BOATENG INTER-MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE REPORT ON ILLEGAL MINING BY THE RANKING MEMBER; COMMITTEE ON MINES AND ENERGY: Dr Rashid Pelpuo
26TH APRIL, 2023
Ladies and gentlemen I thank you for honoring my invitation to this press conference on the Frimpong Boateng inter-Ministerial Committee Report on illegal mining.
The report established our worse fear about the Nana Addo Danquah’s government as typically and practically a hoax in dealing with the pervasive challenge of illegal mining in Ghana. Reading through the report by a former Minister of Environment Science and Technology, we have come to a painful conclusion that this government is fully stripped of all semblance of a serious and determined government entrusted in securing our environment for a future generation.
The tragedy for the people of Ghana is that while the people retained complete confidence in the government to protect the lands and waters from the destructive activities of galamsey, the government has clothed itself in fraudulent conduct and practicing the illegality itself by this alleged involvement.
The Frimpong Boateng report was submitted to government two years ago in March 2021. The report was not shy in naming key government officials as participants in various respects in the destruction of our lands and in particular our forest reserves by illegal mining. Key officials such as Gabby Otchery Darko, Oppong Nkrumah, Osafo Marfo, Charles Owusu, Joseph Albert Quarm, Laud Commey, Charles Nii Teiko, S.K Boafo, Frank Asiedu Bekoe (Protozoa) and surprisingly Kweku Baako, a known journalist have been mentioned.
The individuals mentioned here are seriously connected to government and have been pointed out to have been involved in many ways in the illegal mining activities. It is our considered view that if the government were any committed and serious government, some practical actions should have been taken to address the very serious issues pointing at it’s own involvement despite any feeling challenges in the presentation of the report. Indeed we expected that some individuals should have resigned from office and some further investigations should have been done to assure the people of Ghana that they are walking their talk.
Ladies and gentlemen confronted with this deeply disturbing report Government’s reaction after holding the report for more than two years has been both absurd and irritating. It brazenly tried unconvincingly to point out that the report was not properly addressed to it. This is rather than addressing the substance of the report.
This undermines the trust of the people and oversteps the rules of procedureAs the minority group in parliament we wish to register our utmost disgust and revulsion in government in its involvement in the operations of illegal mining and the illogical denial of the indefensible facts. Indeed we recall that President had earlier made public announcement seeking to persuade the good people of this country about his determination to fight against illegal mining and went ahead to do the exact opposite. On the Graphic Online report, 17th July 2017, the President in a public declaration put his presidency on line in his determined quest to fight galamsey.
The President’s claimed then that he was left with what he termed choosing what was right and moving along with the people. In playing to the gallery he said he had chosen to do the right thing. Today we know what the right thing is. After an animated destruction of mining vehicles and getting excavators to locations nobody including himself can explain, his former Minister, Professor Frimpong Boateng has come out clearly to inform the general public about the deep involvement of government functionaries in the same illegal activities the President professed to stop.
Ladies and gentlemen we call for the public through appropriate civil society groups to demonstrate interest in this matter. It is the worst we have ever seen in which the watchman has become the thief himself. It has become truly difficult to call on the same suspects to set up any investigative body to look more deeply and more closely into this matter.
Despite this we want to assure the people of this government of our commitment to handle this profound illegal involvement by some state officials to the best of our ability. We will request the involvement of Parliament in setting up a by-partisan investigative adhoc committee into this matter. But beyond this we urge the government to set up a commission of enquiry to go into the matter thoroughly. We also urge the president to desist from his normal interference in issuing statements to clear his functionaries of wrongdoing doings when they are caught pants down in certain illegal practices.
This accusation touches the centre of core principle of state organisation and undermines the credibility of the country as a respected democracy.