We Are Partners – Atta Akyea
Samuel Atta Akyea, Member of Parliament (MP) for Akyem Abuakwa South in the Eastern Region, has described as malicious a newspaper publication which suggested that he and Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II clashed over issues relating to illegal mining, popularly called 'galamsey' at Kyebi.
'I have read with shock a publication on the front page of The Herald Newspaper dated Wednesday, February 5 - Thursday, February 6, 2014 with the ill-motivated and divisive headline 'Okyenhene and Atta Akyea Clash over Kyebi Galamsey Mess.
A news release issued yesterday by the MP in reaction to the publication said, 'This is not the first time that The Herald newspaper had used its medium to put me in an extremely bad light through its well-rehearsed culture of lies and misrepresentations.
According to Atta Akyea, he had never been involved in any arrangement 'to bring the name of the Okyenhene into disrepute.
'All my private and public pronouncements vindicate the fact that I have not even remotely insinuated that the colossal environmental damage to Kyebi, in particular, and other parts of my constituency in general, through illegal mining activities, has the overlord of Okyeman as the cause.
He said he had an interview with Montie FM last week that focused on a wide range of issues including the 'galamsey' menace in Akyem Abuakwa but he never dragged the name of Okyenhene in the mud as the pro-NDC newspaper sought to portray.
He said during the interview with Montie FM, he expressed concern about the activities of 'galamsey' operators.
He said he told the radio station that 'galamsey' had reached 'dangerous and mercenary proportions' at Kyebi and that the environment of the area's premier Senior High School, Abuakwa State College had been polluted.
'Apparently, Montie FM wanted to know my role in solving what has become a hydra-headed problem for my Uncle, His Imperial Majesty, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin.
'I asserted that the audacity of the illegal miners has moved beyond the bounds of decency and they did not even care a hoot to do violence to the environment even at the very backyard of His Majesty's private home.
'Indeed, if the source of Gifty Arthur's publication in the Herald is the recorded interview I had with Montie FM last week, then I wish to assert that it is rather the Herald Newspaper that is peddling falsehood to drag the name of Okyenhene in the mud.
'How can any serious journalist ignore the content of the tape and come to such foul conclusions to set me against my Uncle? he quizzed.
'How could anybody, by any stretch of imagination, print that I have asserted on the tape or by necessary implication that the occupant of the Ofori Panin Stool 'could not distance himself from the menace when 'galamsey' operations are carried out at his backyard, indeed behind the windows of his palace as The Herald newspaper would want to sell to the world?
'When lies dominate the sub-conscious mind of anybody, they cannot distinguish between the private house and a palace. At least it is known to the army of journalists who had visited Kyebi that nobody is mining gold at the backyard of palace, Ofori Panin Fie.
The MP said he had been involved in the fight against the 'galamsey' in Akyem Abuakwa.
'My Uncle has done in rather stronger dimensions than I.
'I have bought coffins for the burial of victims who fell in pits created by illegal miners. I have given widows monies to trade when they have lost breadwinners during illegal mining activities. I am embarking on a project to give boreholes to those who cannot longer have treated water by reason of the pollution of the Brim River through galamsey activities.'
He said he recently gave GH¢10,000.00 to a contractor, who was working on the Water System in Asiakwa in the constituency, adding 'by every account, my Uncle and I are partners in development and we should be spared the evil of yellow journalism.
'Osagyefuo has chosen to serve the Okyenman as the Overlord and I supported him during his enstoolment. I have chosen the path of politics and there can be any incentive to pit my strength against my Uncle. Let the Herald Newspaper know the Osagyefuo does not determine who becomes the MP of Akyem Abuakwa South Constituency so what is the meaning of 'his preferred candidate?'
Atta Akyea said he was elated that the Eastern Regional Minister had embarked upon an exercise to flush out illegal gold miners from the constituency, adding, 'Let the Honourable arrest those who hire the excavator and arraign them before a court of competent jurisdiction and not to scratch the surface of the problem by leaving the financiers of the illegal mining operations and arrest the poor boys who are trying to irk out a living.'
He said the reportage of The Herald was in 'bad taste, irresponsible, divisive and uncharitable.
'I certainly do not deserve this shabby treatment.'
He also challenged The Herald newspaper to publish and play the tape 'to the whole world in the name of truth and professional journalism.'