General News of Tuesday, 9 May 2017
The Ministry of Lands of Forestry has jumped to the defence of the Okyenhene in a recent BNI report accusing the Okyehene and his palace as being complicit in illegal mining activities.
A statement issued Tuesday and signed by the sector Minister John Peter Amewu says the report neither accused the Okyenhene or his Palace of being involved in galamsey activities.
The report, he explained only cited a perception that the Okyenhene is “behind illegal mining activities in the Kibi area” and also accused an anti-galamsey task force constituted by the Okyenhene of extorting monies from illegal miners.
The report intercepted by Joy FM also named MP for Talensi BT Baba and a not too popular NPP financier Bunyak Kolog better known as Polo as engaging in the illegal mining activities.
Shocking as it was, the report confirmed widely held opinions that powerful hands were behind the illegal mining activities threatening the survival of the country’s environment and water bodies.
The Okyenhene has since debunked claims and assertions made in the report.
His lawyer on Saturday called into Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile, vehemently denying the claims made in the report and wondered why an intelligence report said to have been put together by the BNI will be reporting perceptions instead of realities.
He said the Okyenhene has never been involved in galamsey activities and has on the contrary been one of the first people to fight galamsey in Ghana.
Days after the protest by the Okyenhene, the Ministry has issued a statement clarifying the content of the confidential report which has since gone viral.
Mr Amewu explained in the statement that checks by his Ministry indicate that the anti-galamsey taskforce at the Okyenhene Palace has been disbanded three years ago and could not be the case that the task force was extorting monies from miners. Instead of chiding the Okyenhene, the Minister said the Palace has been instrumental in the fight against galamsey.