Former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has said it was not easy for him to write about his own colleague ministers in the report of the now-dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) which he chaired.
However, he said, he had to be brutally frank with the President on issues of illegal small-scale mining (Galamsey) as part of the solution to the problem.
Asked whether he stands by the contents of the report despite the attacks on it by some officials of the government, Prof Frimpong-Boateng told TV3’s Alfred Ocansey on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 Monday, May 8 that “Yes.”
He further stated “It wasn’t an easy thing writing about some of my colleagues bUt I had to be brutally honest with the president and that is why I did what I did. I could have said, Mr President, everything is ok, it is under control, maybe given a chance we will be able to do it, write some wishy-washy thing and then not achieve anything.
“I had to be honest with myself and knowing the president, who he is, he wanted the truth and I did that from my point of view.”
His report implicated a wide number of government officials, most of whom have denied the allegations in the report.
For instance, he cited Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah for gathering a group of journalists at the Forest Hotel in Dodowa to begin a mudslinging campaign against the respected heart surgeon while he chaired the Committee.
According to Prof Frimpong-Boateng, the meeting of journalists from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) media houses was to “discuss a strategy to bring me Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng down”.
He complained Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who is also a Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi, never called him about the missing excavators though he was part of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
“If Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and the likes of him have presidential ambitions, they should pursue it on merit and not attempt to destroy a hard-working patriot, whose only ambition is work to achieve a Ghana Beyond Aid,” the old professor had concluded in the report dated Friday, March 19, 2021.
But in his reply on Friday, April 21, Mr Oppong Nkrumah wondered: “What would I, a much younger man, seek to gain from bringing down a person as well respected as Prof Boateng?
“I had no interest in his profession, his politics or his portfolios. I have absolutely nothing to gain from sullying his reputation.”
He advised Prof Frimpong-Boateng to have interrogated that call from his journalist friend about the supposed ‘secret’ meeting at Dodowa before drawing his conclusions.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah expressed belief that in the coming months and years, Prof Frimpong-Boateng will reflect deeply on his own actions and comments which have led to his challenges.
“Over the years, I had nothing but great admiration for Prof Boateng’s public-spirited works and as an inspirational citizen.”