There is no illegal small scale mining activity (Galamsey) ongoing at the backyard of the President’s residence in his hometown Kyebi in the Eastern Region, the Director of Communications for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Richard Ahiagbah has said.
His comment follows an allegation made by a former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who once chaired the government’s Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng that galamsey is ongoing few metres from President Akufo-Addo’s residence in Kyebi.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng in his 37-page report to the chief of staff on the fight against illegal mining alleged that a party youth organizer had a concession closer to the president’s house.
But responding to him, Mr Ahiagbah said in a tweet that “The media has a difficult job of digging for the facts to serve all of us. However, the claim that people are galamseying in the backyard of the President’s residence in Kyebi, should be very easy for the media to verify to set the minds of Ghanaians to rest. The media must visit Kyebi to verify this disturbing claim!”
The Presidency earlier responded to the report of Prof Frimpong-Boateng that it could only be rightly referred to as a catalogue of personal grievances and claims by Prof Frimpong-Boateng.
The seat of government said the document was handed to the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President on March 19th 2021, in an informal meeting, where Prof. Frimpong-Boateng complained about public attacks and criticisms made about his tenure as Chairperson of the IMCIM. This was after Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s tenure as Minister had not been renewed by the President of the Republic in his second term.
“The document did not have a transmittal or cover letter nor, indeed, an addressee, such as to suggest that it was submitted to the Chief of Staff for action. It is noteworthy that the IMCIM was a creature of Cabinet, and any formal report on its activities would, normally, be submitted to Cabinet through the Cabinet Secretary, or directly to the President of the Republic as Chairperson of Cabinet. Till date, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng has done neither,” the statement said.
It added “It is important also to point out that, whilst Prof. Frimpong-Boateng makes serious allegations against some government appointees, as having been involved in, supporting or interfering with the fight against illegal mining, not a single piece of evidence was adduced or presented to enable the claims to be properly investigated.
“Indeed, the allegations contained in the document are at best hearsay. It is instructive that since Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s meeting with the Chief of Staff in March, 2021, he has taken no step nor acted in furtherance of the matters contained in the document.”
It further stated that the President’s commitment to fighting illegal mining is unassailable, and the Office of the President welcomes any information on illegal mining activities which provides a credible basis for investigations to be conducted by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service.