Provost of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CoHSS) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. Charles Marfo has asserted that the Akonta Mining scandal is nothing less than a feign attempt to conceal the real galamsey culprits in the country, Purefmonline.com reports.
The KNUST CoHSS’ Provost in interaction with Kwame Adinkrah on Kumasi-based Pure FM emphasized that, the owner of Akonta Mining Company Limited, Benard Antwi Boasiako aka Chairman Wontumi, having flaunted his wealth and his mining exploits blatantly in the past has in an unfortunate circumstance been set up as the galamsey poster-boy to cover the high-ranking government officials behind the practice.
Prof. Charles Marfo in commiserating with Chairman Wontumi maintained his disdain for the Ashanti regional NPP’s Chairman’s conduct in the public space.
“Everybody knows that I don’t like Chairman Wontumi, especially on how he conducts himself in the public space. His utterances and his constant display of his so-called mining acquired wealth in our faces,” he said.
However, in respect of this saga, I think they set him up. They put him there just to showcase his already mortified face while the real masterminds are working underground.”
“Why has he not been apprehended for the despicable damage caused to the environment yet?”
“This mischief is just a decoy to hide the hidden coaches who are the real galamsey players.”
The real scapegoats are not from among any of these unmasked personalities tagged with galamsey, instead, they are at the top manning the affairs of governance.”
“Why will the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor decide to even grant consideration to Akonta Mining’s request for licence to mine in a forest reserve when that place has been clearly declared a red zone?”
How can you do prospecting in a forest reserve? A reserve?
The application should not have warranted any engagement from the Ministry at all.
These inactions and occurrences together inflate the idea that there are hidden hands in government really fancying the galamsey practice.” Prof. Charles Marfo told Kwame Adinkrah on Pure FM.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources through the Forestry Commission has halted the activities of Akonta Mining Limited’s operations in the Nimiri Tano forest reserve in the Amenfi West Municipality of the Western Region.
A statement from the ministry said, while the mining company had a lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, the company had no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve.
The Minerals Commission of Ghana in a subsequent press release reiterated that Akonta Mining Limited has no mining lease, mineral right, and/or permit to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve or any other reserve.
According to the Commission, the mineral leases granted to Akonta Mining Limited fell outside the Tano Nimiri Reserve, and thus documents purporting to indicate otherwise should be treated with the contempt they deserve.
The owner of the company who doubles as the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi, has however refuted claims of wrongdoing.
“I am appealing to them to use the law. They should do their investigations, and we should let the law work.”
“I want to tell the public that I am not into galamsey.”
“I have a large scale company which Akonta mining is under. All the required documents I have, I will make available. I am not into galamsey,” he said on Wontumi TV.