Presidential staffer, Dr. Clement Apaak says the request by a group calling itself Okyenman Youth Association, for President John Mahama to apologize for describing Kyebi as the headquarters of illegal mining is politically motivated.
Describing the reaction by the youth as “a storm in a tea cup”, Dr. Apaak intimated that it is also part of a grand scheme to “misrepresent and misinterpreted the good intentions of President Mahama”.
The president after ascertaining the extent of damage caused to the lands and rivers in Kyebi as a result of illegal mining activities in the area, tagged the Akyem-Abuakwa state capital as “a galamsey headquarters”.
This has generated some controversy in the region with the youth and some chiefs in the area demanding an unqualified apology from the presidency for the “provocative comment”.
But Dr. Clement Apaak on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme said the president’s comments has been misconstrued for partisan political interest.
“It is true that he [Mahama] may have used the phrase headquarters but he used that as a basis to make a point”, the Presidential Staffer noted.
He further pointed out that all the president sought to do was to whip up sentiments to ensure the people who are adversely affected by it, play an active role to save the environment and to “nip this practice, which is detrimental to our wellbeing in the bud”.
The presidential staffer described as unfortunate the impression being created as though President Mahama ridiculed Kyebi, when in fact in his [Mahama’s] meeting with the Western and Central Regional House of Chiefs, he expressed similar sentiments.
Dr. Apaak, who expressed shock at the development, said he does not see any reason why people should make a big deal out of a non-issue.
“I really don’t see why if not for political expediency, people will be making an issue out of this”, he stressed.