Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Kweku Baako Jnr, has contested assertions by vice president of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, that the Achimota Forest Reserve has been sold.
Kofi Bentil in a post on his Facebook timeline on Tuesday stated that the forest reserve has been sold while additionally bidding it farewell.
“Bye Bye Achimota Forest. Sold!! What is this??!!!,” he wrote.
Bentil’s claim did not go down well with the veteran journalist who wondered if the recent report of the alleged sale of the forest reserve was not the same as the one that got Cabinet approval for a PPP in September 2013.
Which arrangement was to have a portion of the forest developed into $1.2billion Accra Eco Park Project.
“I recall media reports indicated that Aikan Capital had won the bid to execute the project. Aikan Capital was to design, build and operate the Facility @ Parts/Portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve for 10 years in accordance with a lease agreement.
“How different is the latest development from the project concieved by the Government of Ghana in 2009 and Cabinet approved in September 2013; the sod cutting of which was executed in August 19, 2016? Any help? Kofi Bentil,” Kweku Baako commented
Responding to the enquiry, Kofi Bentil indicated that ‘unreliable’ information suggested that the overarching plan of the government was to sell off the forest reserve.
He also lamented the lack of information on the matter by government leading him to speculate.
“Senior [Kweku Baako], the problem in this nation is that government prefers to operate in secret until we smoke information out.
“We are Unreliably informed that there’s a deal to sell off the forest. We need info but it seems we have to do RTI or float balloons like this for feedback,” he said.
Kweku Baako will have none of it as he said the “confession” by Mr. Kofi Bentil was at variance with the claim that the forest had been sold.
“I hear you bro. But that is not the same as the said “forest reserve” having been sold! Or?” he quizzed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kofi Bentil has since deleted the post from his Facebook page.
Social media platforms particularly Twitter had ‘Achimota Forest’ trending number one after an Executive Instrument about the Achimota Forest Reserve went viral.
In the said E.I 144, a portion of the Achimota Forest by presidential order had been declared as ceased from being recognized as a forest reserve effective May 1, 2022.
It also details that District Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority must prepare a master plan for the development of the land and submit to the Lands Minister for approval.
Again the District Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority has been tasked to take into consideration the protection of the ecological integrity of an adjoining forest reserve while preparing the master plan.
Meanwhile, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor has dismissed claims that the Achimota Forest has been sold off.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Mr Jinapor said that the “Achimota Forest has not and will not be sold.”