Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, has stated that Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s illegal mining report calls for a national probe into the allegations.
He indicated that the issues in the report could not be left unaddressed since it was damning and confirmed that the entire fight against illegal mining was a facade for the government to enrich members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“To confirm the collusion, despite a Cabinet directive in 2019 to suspend issuance of new licenses and permits, more illegal miners, including Chinese, entered Ghana’s forest reserves with the help of government officials, and the destruction of forests and environment continued unabated,” Dr Forson, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency in the Central Region bemoaned.
He insisted that the revealing issues and several others in the damning report called for a national probe.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, the former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), submitted names of people in government who frustrated his effort to fight illegal mining when he was Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
In the said document, he mentioned some individuals he claims frustrated his effort and the committee he chaired from addressing the canker, what baffled him was total disregard of the president’s commitment, dedication and determination to protecting the environment.
The document said there were appointees in the Jubilee House who were engaged in or supporting illegal mining or interfering with the fight against the menace and also accused a former NPP MP in the Ashanti Region of selling illegally acquired concessions for GHC200,000 each.
According to the document, it infuriated the party in the constituency, during the 2020 primaries to select a candidate the delegates voted against the NPP MP, then sitting MP, who was more resourced than other candidates.
However, some of the persons mentioned in the report have denied same including Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, an NPP stalwart who rejected the allegations.
He intimated that he only called Prof. Frimpong-Boateng to seek information on his client – Heritage, a company that had permits issued between November 2018 and July 2019, to mine in the country yet soldiers went and seized the equipment and he called the soldiers and was told it was the Minister who had sanctioned them.
Mr Otchere-Darko noted that when he asked Prof. Frimpong-Boateng what the issue was with the equipment seizures, the Minister informed him they were prospecting and not exploring and that was the conversation that they had and his intervention was to understand why a legitimate company with all the requisite permits was stopped from doing its work.