The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) seems to be standing on one leg, when it comes to its commitment to fighting illegal small-scale mining, also known as ‘galamsey’ in local parlance.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo may be doing his best to fight the menace, but the utterances of some members of his party may not only water down his efforts, but also give ammunition to his political opponents in a war, which success of failure, is of interest to the whole world.
About a fortnight ago, there were reports in a section of the media that the NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, aka ‘Wontumi’, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Lawyer Owusu Afriyie aka ‘Sir John’, are neck deep in galamsey.
The story, which was attributed to some chiefs in the Bekwai Traditional area, was also given full prominence in the media by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). And in an attempt to explain themselves away, the NPP gurus cited and their assigns, rather entangled the party in deeper controversy.
Chairman Wontumi, in denying the claims of the Bekwai chiefs, told the media that former President, John Dramami Mahama was behind the ‘Galamsey’ allegations, being leveled against him.
He was quoted as having said on Nhyira FM: “I know that former President Mahama is creating all these falsehoods just to tarnish my image, but it will not work”. He did not give any evidence to his claims.
Then Sir John came out to say that NDC minority, which made the allegations, had been misled by rumors started by a traditional, and tried to explain how, though feebly.
What worsened the case for the two public figures was a claim by a spokesperson to the Forestry Commission boss. Speaking on UTV news @ 10, he alleged that Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations Minister, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, was the one peddling the news. Like Wontumi, the spokesperson also failed to give any evidence.
This has kept several tongues wagging in town regarding the sincerity of the NPP personalities mentioned in the allegation, and the seriousness of the ruling party in fighting galamsey.
Like the many Ghanaians out there, THE PUBLISHER is worried about the conflicting, embarrassing blame game the NPP members seem to have entangled themselves and their party in.
The paper will like to caution appointees and political office holders to be wary of the way they fall over one another in their haste to apportion blame, especially in a sensitive arena as the war on galamsey.
We are tempted to opine that blaming the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations Minister by no mean a personality as a spokesperson to the Forestry Commission boss strongly suggests that the allegation that some NPP insiders are into galamsey could be true.
While we do not want to tow that line, THE PUBLISHER will like to remind politicians that, for a politically sensitive warlike galamsey that inadvertently claimed the life of a personality like Major Maxwell Adams Mahama, it will not help the president if his party members play musical chairs with the issue on national television.