Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has described utterances made by the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, as most unfortunate and totally irresponsible.
He was speaking in reference to statements made by Okudzeto Ablakwa concerning the sole inquirer’s report on the Bulgarian Embassy demolition case.
According to the North Tongu MP, the government’s statement on the demolition of the Bulgarian Embassy was an attempt by the government to shield state officials behind the act, a development that has brought the country’s international reputation into tatters.
“The Lands and Natural Resources Minister’s statement on the infamous Bulgarian Embassy demolition, regrettably, has all the qualities of a farcical cover-up and whitewash which confirms the suspicion we have always had based on government’s opaque conduct in this sordid affair of monumental international embarrassment.”
“Apart from confirming that the Bulgarian Embassy was illegally demolished under their watch, the government’s statement is a preposterous attempt to shield state officials who have done great damage to our country’s image in the comity of nations,” he said.
A statement issued by the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday asked the Lands Ministry to publish the full report if it has nothing to hide.
“Why is the government refusing to publish the full report of the Sole Inquirer? What are they hiding?” he added.
Reacring to the accusation, the Lands Minister said, “I think the statement by my friend Honourable Okudzeto Ablakwa who is the Ranking Member for Foreign Affairs is to say the least most unfortunate and irresponsible, totally irresponsible.
“And I think a gentleman of his standing in the Ghanaians body polity should not degenerate into such baseless accusations. I think it is most unfortunate and I don’t mince words on that at all. I think the politicking and the political motivation is leading him into the realm of total absurdity.”
According to him, he had no prior idea of the parties involved in the land dispute that led to the demolition of the Bulgarian Embassy and as such cannot be accused of shielding people he did not know.
“Now so having said that, question, the sole inquirer is the person who did this work, he’s a former judge, he’s an experienced retired judge, what is the suggestion? That I am going to tell him that shield this person, don’t shield this person, do this, don’t do that?
“All the people involved in this matter, the first time I heard of their names was when I read the report. I’ve never heard Joojo Hagan , I’ve never heard Ampomah, the Charge d’ Affairs, the Consular General of the Bulgarain Embassy, the first time I heard his voice was when he called me yesterday to try and book an appointment,” he said.
He has, however, called on the North Tongu MP to support his accusations with facts rather than cast unfounded aspersions.
“I think my friend Ablakwa should try and rise above this, he’s becoming ridiculous. Because every now and again and these flimsy wild allegations without any basis. What is the basis of the cover-up? That’s what he should say.”
Meanwhile the Minority has indicated it will launch a full-scale investigation into the matter.
“We also wish to serve strong and unambiguous notice that these cover-ups and pathetic whitewash will not prevent a future NDC government from launching a full-scale, no-holds-barred probe and a strict regime of punishing all complicit officials in the entire value chain within a more credible, patriotic and internationally acceptable best practice effort to restore Ghana’s once enviable reputation within the diplomatic community.”
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