The Minority intends to take its displeasure a notch higher, over comments made by the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo concerning Chinese galamsey queen Aisha Huang’s deportation.
Mr Maafo has been sternly criticised for the comments he made during a recent Town Hall Meeting in the United States, when he sought to explain why Aisha, known for her exploits in illegal mining, was only deported after she was arrested by authorities.
The decision to deport her, especially a time when President Akufo-Addo has waged war on the activity in the country, sparked concerns from the public with many questioning the president’s commitment.
A participant in the meeting, who was also uncomfortable with the development, wanted government’s justification for letting the Chinese go and Mr Maafo in his response said, Ghana has great diplomatic relationship with China and intends to partner them in key infrastructural projects citing the $2 billion Sinohydro deal.
The illegal activities by Aisha Huang have had devastating effects on Ghana’s water bodies
“Today, the main company that is helping develop the infrastructure system in Ghana is Sinohydro, it is a Chinese Company. It is the one that is going to help process our bauxite and provide about $2 billion to us,” he said.
"So, when there are these kinds of arrangements, there are other things behind the scenes. Putting that lady [Aisha] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your economic problems,” he said.
The Senior Minister’s office has clarified the statement saying what he meant was that, the matter of prosecution had been dealt by a court of competent jurisdiction and that Ghanaians should focus on the economic gains of the government and how best we can consolidate the gains.
But the Minority will have none of it.
Mr Fuseini says the Minority will act if the president fails to
Former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Inusah Fuseini, who has already asked the president to fire Mr Maafo told Joy News, the Senior Minister’s comment makes him unqualified for the office he occupies.
The Tamale Central MP wants Parliament to conduct a vote of censure, as stipulated in the Constitution, to have Mr Maafo who was Finance Minister during the John Kufuor administration, removed from office.
Article 82 of the 1992 Constitutes states “(1) Parliament may, by a resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of Parliament, pass a vote of censure on a Minister of State.
(2) A motion for the resolution referred to in clause (1) of this article shall not be moved in Parliament unless-
(a) seven days' notice has been given of the motion; and
(b) the notice for the motion has been signed by not less than one-third of all the members of Parliament;
(3) The motion shall be debated in Parliament within fourteen days after the receipt by the Speaker of the notice for the motion.
Mr Maafo says the Akufo-Addo administration is bent on fighting illegal mining
(4) A Minister of State in respect of whom a vote of censure is debated under clause (3) of this article is entitled, during the debate, to be heard in his defence.
(5) Where a vote of censure is passed against a Minister under this article the President may, unless the Minister resigns his office, revoke his appointment as a Minister.
Mr Fuseini said the Minority has reached a consensus on the issue “and we are looking at the possibility of doing that. If the president doesn’t fire him, we will file a motion and trigger the processes for his removal.
“Because he has brought global shame and embarrassment to the country,” he added.
He insists that the Senior Minister had no business explaining how the case was handled and his comments on that international platform were unnecessary.