Former Ashanti Regional Minister in the erstwhile John Mahama administration, John Alexander Ackon has explained the reasons for the release of seized excavators of the female Chinese galamsey kinpin, Asia Huang aka Aisha in August 2016.
According to him, the operation that led to the siezure of the equipment was not authorized and without the blessing of the Regional Security Council, hence his outfit could not have endorsed an illegality and as a result released the items to to their owner.
Some national security operatives, on July 30, 2016, raided various gold mining sites to impound excavators and a pickup vehicle belonging to the Chinese woman that were being used for the illegal mining operation.
She and her assigns had degraded lands, destroyed cocoa farms and polluted water bodies in several communities in the Amansie area, and the national security, in an attempt to clamp down on her activities, raided the sites.
At Gyaaman village, the activities of the Chinese galamsey operator allegedly left six children dead after the victims drowned in open pits.
However, the Ashanti Regional Security Council, then headed by John Alexander Ackon found it expedient to release the four excavators and the Toyota pickup to the galamsey miner to the chagrin of the local residents and owners of the mining concessions, Volta Resources Limited.
But in an exclusive interview with Kasapa FM’s Akwasi Nsiah Wednesday, the ex Minister, stated that he found nothing wrong with that decision as he believes he and his team exercised good judgment.
He dismissed claims that he shielded Aisha who’s said to be very powerful because she’s connected to influential people in authority both in the current NPP government and the past NDC administration.
“I don’t know Aisha, I’ve met her only once in my life. The only time I encountered her was when a report was presented to me that some persons had gone to seize equipment without authorization. You know I was in office for only one year, so go back to her history. I had only a short time interaction when she come to my office after that unauthorized operation.
There were other Ghanaians who were also affected in that exercise, I don’t know about who she was. She’s some smallish looking woman, I did not take interest in her. I’m hearing the stories about how powerful she is just some few days ago. .”