“These persons claimed they had been given the permits by the Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, to reclaim degraded lands, while they also engaged in illegal mining and other illegal activities.”
These explanations were contained in a press release issued by the Corporate Affairs and Media Relations Unit of the Forestry Commission after it was brought to its attention that an alleged press conference was held by Parliamentarians of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the morning of 24th July, 2018, and other sources, suggesting that the Forestry Commission and its Chief Executive, Mr. kwadwo owusu Afriyie, were involved in illegal mining.
This, the commission has debunked, describing the allegation as a complete mispresentation of the reality is very compelling to the Management of Forestry Commission to respond to it.
The Commission continued that after realizing the nefarious activities “all reclamation rights were therefore suspended, pending a total cleansing of the system and to put in place effective monitoring apparatuses to ensure a healthy working system. Further measures will be taken to sanitise the system. Until then, all reclamation permits were suspended.”
“There is therefore no way in which the Chief Executive can be involved in illegal mining activities as it is being portrayed in the said publication.”
“The fact that couple of abuses have been reported since the implementation of the forest reclamation operations, makes it naturally difficult for this office to rule out any such incursions anywhere in the country, which will obviously be contradicting the afore-mentioned explanation.
As far as records available at the Chief Executive’s office are concerned, the status quo depicts the latest moratorium, after which no official report on any abuses have been received from anywhere to lend credence to the publication on www.ghanaweb and other sites.
“In our opinion, the seriousness of the allegations calls for an in-depth investigation to establish its veracity or otherwise in order to provide a basis for dealing with the root cause and for that, whoever might have been implicated in the offence” the statement concluded.
PA News Desk