Caretakers of President Akufo-Addo’s private residence at Kyebi in the Eastern Region have dismissed claims by former Environment Minister, Prof Frimpong Boateng that portions of a garden were destroyed by illegal miners.
According to them, the mining allegation by Prof Boateng cannot be substantiated.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng’s report on illegal mining states that a team had to be dispatched with excavators to restore the vegetation when he learned that the President’s garden had been invaded by illegal miners.
JoyNews’ Presidential Affairs correspondent, Elton Brobbey on Thursday visited the President’s house at Kyebi and interacted with caretakers of the place.
According to one of the caretakers, he has been on the job for seven years and there has never been any illegal mining activity at the compound.
“Not at all. Security is here 24/7 so how can security be here? And then we allow people to come in that we are coming to do galamsey. What is the purpose of the security being in the house?” he quizzed.
He further questioned how the excavators can be moved into the premises due to the size of the gate.
Security agents stationed at the premises, according to Elton Brobbey, noted that since President Akufo-Addo’s inauguration in 2017, there have always been police, military, and immigration officials on the premises at all times, making it difficult for anyone to gain access without clearance.
As a result, asserted that the claim that illegal mining took place in the garden is untrue.
When asked how they felt about the news of the President’s residence being turned into a galamsey site, the caretaker expressed his surprise.
He described the report as “serious propaganda.”
“I wonder why people with high positions can bring themselves so low to that extent of telling lies…I don’t see the point because there is a house here with trees in it up to this point, and I’m not sure how we were able to dig the gold, remove the trees, and replace them. So the trees speak for us, and I don’t believe we need to. The trees and the environment speak for themselves,” he added.
Also, in interaction with some members of the party, they also maintained that the garden was not used for galamsey.
Other members also expressed their disappointment over the report while calling on Prof Boateng to review his report or back his claims with evidence.
They also want him to retract and apologise. This, according to them, is because they find it insulting that the President, who has promised to address the issue of illegal mining, would rather allow his compound to be used for same.
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