The Minority in Parliament is demanding the immediate dismissal of Lands and Natural Resources Minister Kwaku Asoma Cheremeh, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, for their alleged involvement in the exportation of rosewood in the country.
According to a report by US-based organisation the Environmental Investigation Agency, despite the ban on rosewood felling and exportation in the country, a total of six million rosewood trees have been exported to China.
Addressing the press in Parliament today, Wednesday, 14 August 2019, Builsa South MP, Dr Clement Apaak called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to institute a committee to investigate the scandal and punish the government and Forestry Commission officials involved in the practice.
Dr Apaak said: “I call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is also the leader of the NPP, to institute an investigation into what happened and to ensure those involved in this illegal trade are punished. He should begin by dismissing the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, who will obviously be complicit because of his dual responsibility as a leading party member and the man in charge of the Forestry Commission.
“Secondly, he should also fire his Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kweku Asomah Kyeremeh for supervising this rot; he should even have done the honourable thing and should have resigned by now because he has virtually committed perjury against the legislature. He was on the floor of Parliament to assure us that the rosewood felling is no longer happening in the country because a ban has been put in place but now the evidence in this report and the investigative reports that various media houses have put out recently as well as what I have seen and read with regard to rosewood show that the minister actually deceived all of us Ghanaians.
“The harvesting of rosewood is still happening; no government appointee should be allowed to deceive parliament and go scot-free. I call on the good people of Ghana to rise and defend the land. There have been demonstrations against hardships and other challenges in this country but it is also about time that we rose and ensured that this illegal rosewood business ends”.
Dr Apaak also revealed that he has petitioned the office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the case.