Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, also known as Sir John, has refuted accusations that he is involved in illegal mining also known as galamsey.
Ranking Member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu, had said that there was incontrovertible evidence available to the Minority in Parliament, which indicates that Sir John and the governing New Patriotic Party’s Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Bosiako, aka Chairman Wontumi, are involved in some galamsey activities.
Addressing the press in Accra on Tuesday, 24 July 2018, Mr Mutawakilu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Damongo, further accused the president of shielding these people and other NPP members who are neck-deep in illegal mining.
He said: “The Minister [of Lands and Forestry] said until the water bodies are clean, they cannot lift the ban. The chief of Jacobu came out clearly that the CEO of Forestry Commission and Wontumi, that is the chairman of NPP in Ashanti Region are engaged in galamsey, and let me say frankly, it’s a big fact and it’s a slap on the face of the president”.
Responding to the allegations the same day on Accra-based Citi FM, Mr Owusu Afriyie said: “Sir John is not involved in any illegal mining activities”.
He explained that there were reclamation activities close to the area in question some months back which explains why excavators might have been spotted there but “we have long stopped the reclamation exercise to take stock”.
He stressed that: “No company has gotten permit as we speak to do reclamation anywhere”.
Sir John accused the NDC and its Minority caucus of doing “lazy politics” and asked them to see him for tutorials in executing proper politics.