Edudzi Kudzo Tameklo, a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) legal team has taken a swipe at the president over recent pronouncements on the activities of a Mining Company owned by the ruling party’s regional chairman.
Edudzi says the defense mounted by Akufo-Addo for Chairman Wontumi’s Akonta Mining relative to its alleged illegal mining operations was an indication that the president did not respect Ghanaians.
He added in a Facebook post dated January 4, 2023 that the defense was problematic also because it was Akufo-Ado’s appointees who exposed the activities of the company.
“Akufo Addo has no respect for Ghanaians. Akonta Mining issues were exposed by his own appointees. Clearing agent,” he captioned his post which was accompanied by a video of Akufo-Addo’s January 4 pronouncement.
The activities of the company has been pronounced upon by the sector ministry and Foretry Commission with the later ordering the latter to enforce a halt on its operations in the forest reserve.
The Minerals Commission on their part said the company did not have a valid mining license to operate in the forest reserve.
The term ‘clearing agent’ is reference to opposition mockery that Akufo-Addo typically calls for investigation of ‘implicated’ allies and exonerates them himself.
Akonta Mining, a company owned by Bernard Antwi Boasiako, alias Chairman Wontumi of the New Patriotic Party (NPP); is not engaged in illegal mining anywhere in the country, the president said at an even in Koforidua.
Calls for the arrest of Wontuni and other shareholders of the company started last year after the company was reported to have engaged in illegal mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.
President Akufo-Addo, was responding to a renewed the call for Wontumi’s arrest (over Akonta Mining operations) as demanded by Ken Ashigbey, who happens to be chairman of the Media Coalition against Galamsey.
“Let me respond briefly to the chairperson on the issue of illegal mining. I want to assure him and all of you that Akonta Mining is not engaged in any illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak.
“Further, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has through the agency of the Forestry Commission, with the assistance of the military, made the effort to cordon off all 294 sites of forest reserves in the country and rid them of illegal mining as we speak.”
In October last year, Akonta Mining was accused of operating from the Forest Reserve after they had a month prior clashed with some locals in the town of Samreboi in the Western North Region.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources ordered a halt to their operations in the forest but clarified that they had a valid mining license in areas outside of the natural habitat.
There was also a report that security operatives had raided one of the operational sites of the company in the forest reserve, burning machines and structures.