Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, popularly known as Chairman Wontumi, has received what appears to be the safest backing of his company, Akonta Mining’s activities.
The company stands accused of mining in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve in the Western Region illegally. However, President Akufo-Addo says the firm is not currently operating illegally anywhere in the country.
He spoke at the 28th National and 16th Biennial Congress of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association.
“I want to assure you all that Akonta Mining is not engaged in any form of illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak,” he stated.
The Lands Ministry had directed the Forestry Commission to ensure the company doesn’t carry out any operation in the forest.
It also asked the Commission to take the necessary action against any person found culpable. This was after all activities of the company in the forest reserve were declared illegal.
Government said the company only had a lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi. It however added that it did not have mineral right to undertake any operation in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve.
There have been calls for the prosecution of persons running Akonta Mining Limited’s operation in the forest reserve.
In fact, the issue of the mining company is presently before the Special Prosecutor for investigation.
The Media Coalition Against Galamsey recently revived calls for the arrest and prosecution of directors and officers of Akonta Mining.
The coalition insists there is substantial evidence for a successful prosecution.
The call comes after a second petition to the Inspector General of Police to quickly investigate the allegations.
Chairman Wontumi has stated that he’s not involved in illegal mining. He says he is willing to allow due process.
“I am appealing to them to use the law. They should do their investigations, and we should let the law work,” he said on his TV station, Wontumi TV.
Mr. Boasiako also said, “I want to tell the public that I am not into galamsey.”