Betrayals, disunity, mutual distrust, and backstabbing appear to have cut the thread holding some members of the governing New Patriotic Party together going by reactions and counter-reactions emanating from within.
The Jubilee House has denied reports by Professor Frimpong-Boateng that it is a citadel of galamseyers.
The ruling party’s intervention has distanced the president and the seat of government from the claims contained in Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s report.
An intervention by the top echelon of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is aimed at neutralizing the damning galamsey report involving well-placed government officials and some influence peddlers.
Citi TV/Citi FM has taken upon itself to provide unrestricted access to the individuals mentioned in Prof Frimpong-Boateng’s report, allowing them to respond to the allegations without affording the report’s author the opportunity to offer a rebuttal.
Two years had elapsed since Frimpong-Boateng submitted a 37-page report to the President via his Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare.
All individuals who were mentioned in the report have made attempts, in one way or another, to absolve themselves of any wrongdoing.
The festival of denials was opened by seasoned journalist cum lobbyist, Abdul Malik Baako Jnr through his Facebook account.
He expressed his loss of trust in his long-time friend and opted to use Mark Zuckerberg’s app for his conversations instead. While acknowledging that he spoke to the Minister to arrange a meeting with his friends, Baako denied any wrongdoing or making inappropriate suggestions to the Minister.
The seat of government has rubbished claims made by former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and Chairperson of the erstwhile Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, in a report on illegal small-scale mining.
The Presidency in a statement stated that the claims in the report were unfounded and amounted to hearsay.
The report, which was submitted in an informal way, was handed over to the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President in March 2021.
‘At the outset, it must be pointed out that the document being discussed was not an official report formally delivered to the Office of the President. On the contrary, it can only be rightly referred to as a catalogue of personal grievances and claims made by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, intended to respond to some issues he faced as Chairperson of the IMCIM.
The document was handed to the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President on March 19th 2021, in an informal meeting, where Prof. Frimpong-Boateng complained about public attacks and criticisms made about his tenure as Chairperson of the IMCIM’. The statement read in parts.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s report alleges that on 8th February 2020, Mr Oppong Nkrumah organized a clandestine gathering of journalists from both the NPP and NDC in Dodowa to strategize on a plan to bring him down, resulting in unfavourable media coverage about him. However, Mr Oppong Nkrumah has vehemently denied these accusations, asserting that he only attended a PRINPAG event that was jointly organized with the Bank of Ghana to discuss financial reporting. He further clarified that he never organized any meeting to overthrow any government official.
The report provided a comprehensive account of the activities of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (ICIM) and implicated Lard Commey, a Jubilee House appointee, in supporting or participating in illegal mining. However, Commey strongly refuted these allegations and stated that he had never engaged in or supported any form of illegal mining. He further denied having any communication with anyone regarding illegal mining or seeking any favors related to such activities. Commey challenged Frimpong Boateng to produce evidence to support his claims, warning that he would take legal action to safeguard his reputation otherwise.
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko
He refuted any allegations of giving the former minister unlawful instructions, stating that he never directed him to act against his conscience. He challenged the former minister to come forward and accuse him of giving illegitimate orders if that were the case. According to him, his actions were based on the legality of his client’s operations and what he perceived as the state’s illegitimate action against a company that had been issued licenses to operate. Gabby’s interview left him feeling irritated and made him question the former minister’s understanding of his position. He wondered why the former minister failed to take appropriate action if he believed Gabby’s actions were illegal. In response to Gabby’s interview, Professor Frimpong-Boateng criticized Otchere-Darko’s limited understanding of Ghana’s illegal mining landscape. He cited evidence of the widespread environmental damage in the areas where Gabby’s clients operated and attributed his flawed perspective to ignorance.
Professor Boateng defended his stance by stating, “I don’t believe you suffer from retrograde amnesia, but I do want to remind you of the environmental devastation your client has caused over the years, which is well-documented in the videos and pictures from Diaso forest and Apaprama.” He added that even if Otchere-Darko’s clients had all the necessary licenses and permits, the damage they inflicted warranted indefinite suspension of their mining operations, prosecution, potential imprisonment, and obligation to restore the land, vegetation, and water bodies. Furthermore, despite his weak understanding of his role as a minister, Boateng asserted that he has contributed significantly to the nation and the world, something Otchere-Darko could never accomplish in a million years.