Bekwai chiefs dismiss ‘galamsey’ allegation against Sir John, Wontumi

Mr Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John (left) and Mr Antwi Boasiaki aka Wontumi

Mr Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John (left) and Mr Antwi Boasiaki aka Wontumi

The Bekwai Traditional Council in Ashanti has dissociated itself from the claim by a chief in the area that Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission and Bernard Antwi Boasiako, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are engaged in illegal mining operations in the area.

Reacting to the claim at a meeting of the traditional council at Bekwai, Nana Osei Kwadwo Ababio, Omanhene of the traditional area and President of Bekwai Traditional Council dismissed it as totally unfounded and false.

He explained that Mr Afriyie had prior to the allegation, visited his palace to inform him and his elders of an exercise by the commission to reclaim all degraded mining sites in forest reserves in the area.

“We were aware of the Forestry Commission’s reclamation exercise in the area,” he insisted.

It is recalled that Adam Mutawakilu, Member of Parliament for Damongo and Ranking Member of Energy and Lands Select Committee of Parliament, at a recent press conference, quoted the Bekwai Traditional Council as levelling the allegation of illegal mining against Mr Afriyie and Mr Boasiako.

Nana Ababio noted that the allegation was made by one of his sub chiefs at an open forum attended by Kofi Dzamesi, Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs, chiefs, the District Chief Executive and assembly members.

He pointed out that it was absolutely wrong and unfair to consider the claim by one chief as representing the view of the entire council.

In their comments, both Mr Afriyie and Mr Boasiako denied the allegation insisting that “there is no iota of truth in it”.

While Mr Afriyie was emphatic that the Omanhene had been briefed on the reclamation exercise, Mr Boasiako made it clear that ever since the previous government collapsed his mining business, he had not made any plans of going into it again.


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