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Galamsey: Gabby’s 2017 Tweet ‘Posterity Will Not Forgive Akufo-Addo’ Comes Back To Haunt Him



An old tweet by leading member of the New Patriotic Party, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has resurfaced following the publication of a leaked report on illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) by former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.

The tweet posted by Mr Otchere-Darko on April, 7 2017, a few months after his cousin, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assumed office, foretold the judgement future generations will make of the government were it to fail in fighting galamsey.

“Posterity shall not forgive Akufo-Addo and our generation if we don’t win the war against galamsey,” his tweet said.

Some six years later, some social media users have referred to the tweet after the report authored by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng in March 2021 was recently published in the media.

The report which details the work of the erstwhile Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), cited the challenges the committee faced, as well as persons the former minister believes contributed to the frustration of his work.

The 36-page report implicated some New Patriotic Party (NPP) members, including MPs and top government officials, as having been involved in the galamsey menace. Portions of the report indicated that these MPs and government officials were either directly involved in galamsey or were using their power to protect relations who were involved in the menace.

One of the individuals indicted in the report was Mr Gabby Otchere-Darko who the former minister recounted called to question his decision to order the dislodgment of equipment of a mining company, Imperial Heritage, which Prof. Frimpong-Boateng argues was mining illegally with a prospecting license in forest reserves.

Excerpts of the report pointed out, “We were ready to dislodge Imperial Heritage from Kobro Forest when Mr. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko called to inform me that he was the lawyer for Heritage Imperial Limited, a company that was destroying the Kobro and Apaprama Forest Reserves and in the process had also polluted and diverted the course of the River Offin, as can be seen in the satellite images below.”

The report added, “I informed the President about the behaviour of Mr. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and he promised to deal with it.”

But reacting to the claims by the former minister, Mr Otchere-Darko described as silly the decision by the minister to report him to the president who is his cousin.

“He is going to report me to the president as if he is a teacher, and the president is a master and I am what? A school prefect and I have done something wrong. What kind of silliness is that?” he fumed.

Mr Otchere-Darko who is a private legal practitioner contended in an interview with Citi FM that the Minister only demonstrated his lack of appreciation for his own office.

He explained that contrary to the notion created, his call to the minister was to enquire why the minister had taken action against his client who had painstakingly acquired all the licenses and permits from legally clothed entities to perform legitimate operations at the said location.

“Heritage had a mining exploration permit issued in July 2019, a forest entry permit issued in November 2018, and also an EPA permit yet the soldiers went and seized the equipment of Heritage and so I called the soldiers and was told that it was the Minister who had sanctioned them and so I asked the Minister what the issue was with the equipment seizures and the Minister said they were prospecting and not exploring and that was the conversation that we had.

“My intervention was to understand why a legitimate company with all the requisite permits was stopped from doing their work and that is what lawyers do.” Gabby cleared.

But responding to Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Mr Frimpong-Boateng downplayed his claims that his client had the required license covering their mining activities.

According to the former minister, the company, even if it had any license, had gone beyond the remits and was actively engaged in illegal mining for which appropriate legal sanctions should have been applied.

“Even if your clients had all licences and permits, with the destruction that they caused, not only should they have been stopped from operating a mining company indefinitely, but they should also have been prosecuted, probably jailed, made to reclaim the land, vegetate it and clean the water bodies,” he stated.

The former minister in his response shared and referred to official documents which cited Heritage Imperial Limited for engaging in illegal mining.

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