Former Minister for Science and Technology, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has disclosed that his exit from the Science and Technology Ministry was a grand scheme orchestrated by the government and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Prof. Boateng intimated that the allegations of some 500 missing excavators seized from persons engaged in illegal mining activities in 2020 were untrue and made up stories by some persons in government to tarnish his reputation in order to chase him out of office.
He disclosed that there were people in government that wanted him out because of his stance on illegal mining activities in the country.
Prof. Boateng disclosed that the very beginning and actions of military personnel deployed to effect the arrest of illegal miners triggered the entire falsehood about him being responsible for the missing excavators at the time.
“The true story is that at the start of Operation Vanguard, the soldiers were supposed to arrest the excavators, but they will go into the forest and remove the control boards of the excavators and come back to report but when they went away, the owners will come with different control boards and move the excavators away.
“So the soldiers reported that they had immobilized over 700 excavators and so we appointed someone to go round and check but when we went round, we found only about 150 to 200 excavators, the rest had been moved away.”
He further stressed that “there was an orchestration within the party and the government to get me out and when I left galamsey activities increased. Now things are coming up, and we know those who are doing galamsey even within the party and even people at the Jubilee House.”
The entire ‘missing excavators’ controversy began in 2020 when Prof. Boateng, the then Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation said most of the excavators seized from illegal miners had gone missing.
He subsequently wrote a letter to the Police CID to investigate Horace Ekow Ewusi, then suspended First Vice Chairman of the governing NPP, over his alleged involvement in the missing earth-moving equipment.
Ekow Ewusi was contracted by the government at the time to cart excavators and other vehicles and pieces of equipment seized by the anti-illegal mining task force to designated areas for safekeeping.