The Convener for the Media Coalition against illegal mining, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey has blamed the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission for the recent invasion of the Atewa forest reserve by illegal miners.
Some unknown persons on Monday invaded the Segyemase section of the Atewa Forest with excavators and other mining equipment despite the government’s ban on mining in forest reserves.
Even though the Commission swiftly moved in to set ablaze the excavators and mining equipment, it was unable to make an arrest.
Speaking to Citi News on the development, Dr Ken Ashigbey attributed the invasion to the lack of supervision by the Forestry Commission.
“The leadership of the Forestry Commission should be held responsible. How did it happen that they did not see that the excavator was in there, and they want to pretend as if they have done something?”
“They are hiding evidence in destroying that [excavator]. They know who took the equipment in there, and so we need to hold the Chief Executive of the Forestry, up to the Regional officer and then the district officer responsible. We cannot accept this level of incompetence and complicity in this particular fight.”
Dr Ashigbey also questioned the effectiveness of the supposed tracking of excavators and the geo-blocking initiative launched by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources last year.
“We have been told by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources that they are going to be tracking these excavators; we have been told that they are going to geo-block them, so how come we did not see them?”