Former President John Dramani Mahama has spoken for the first time about the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) report written to the Chief of Staff in March, 2021 by former Environment Minister Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.
The report implicates a wide number of government officials, most of whom have denied the allegations in the report.
The officials, past and present, cited in the report include Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, former Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Mafo, New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawyer Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, former New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmaker Joseph Albert Quarm and Kwadwo Osei Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, who died on July 1, 2020 as the Forestry Commission Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Talks have heightened for an action to be taken on the report as it gives damning verdict on the fight against illegal mining launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2017.
Addressing delegates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Tanoso in the Western North Region as part of his campaign to lead the party into next year’s elections, Mr Mahama said it is now clear that those involved in illegal mining are top New Patriotic Party (NPP) members.
“This is not me saying it,” he told the partisan crowd on Tuesday, April 25.
“It is Doctor Frimpong-Boateng, their own Minister, saying those who engage in galamsey are NPP’s top officers, some at the Jubilee House.
“So, since NPP came to power our forests – which were reserved – have been allowed to be indiscriminately degraded by the government.”
He said formerly, in past successive governments, the effects of the Harmattan were not felt in Sefwi Wiawso and Bibiani because of the protection provided by the forest reserves but “today, it looks like Tamale. When Harmattan sets in, this place is dry, there is bush fire and all that.”
“So, [Prof Frimpong-Boateng] has admitted that they are doing the galamsey.”
Already, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has been petitioned to look into the report.